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Dermatology Residents Losing Interest in Academic Careers

Mentorship, publishing may help keep their interest

TUESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Many dermatology residents lose interest in a career in academia, according to a report in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology. Encouraging them to publish may be a way to remotivate them towards an academic career, according to a second study in the same issue.

In the first study, Samuel J. Reck, M.D., from the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisc., and colleagues reviewed anonymous questionnaires from current dermatology program residents and applicants in the Midwest to "quantify interest in an academic career at the dermatology resident and residency applicant level." While 72 percent of applicants were interested in academia, only 36.9 percent of residents felt the same. Loss of interest was primarily due to bureaucracy issues, salary and lack of mentorship or role models.

Jashin J. Wu, M.D., from the University of California-Irvine, and colleagues conducted the second study showing that those residents who published more in recent years, between 2001 and 2004 specifically, and who were at institutions with more full-time faculty members, were more likely to enter academic dermatology.

In an accompanying editorial, Charles Ellis, M.D., a residency director at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, along with a current fourth-year medical student and a dermatology resident, believe that the increased competition for dermatology residencies may lead applicants to profess an interest in academia although "such indications often do not pan out."

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