20 Years of scientific training of dutch medical students in an american academic division for pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition: Impact on career development
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact on career development of a program for scientific training of Dutch medical students in an American academic division for pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey was undertaken of medical students who were trained in the division of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Tufts University and later at Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Characteristics of the students, the training period, the scientific output, and their career development were evaluated. RESULTS: A questionnaire was sent to 54 students, of which 39 (72%) responded. The mean time of their rotation was 12.2 ± 12.1 months. Twenty-five students published 33 scientific manuscripts. Fifteen students obtained a doctorate degree and 4 are involved in a doctorate program. Six theses were directly related to the scientific content of the rotation and were performed under the supervision of American mentors. A total of 59% of the students hold a position as medical specialist, which is a substantially higher percentage than the national average of all graduated medical doctors. Thirty-five percent of them practice pediatrics (of whom 38% practice pediatric gastroenterology) and 22% practice gastroenterology. Seventy-eight percent of the medical specialists hold an academic position. CONCLUSIONS: Dutch medical students who are scientifically trained in a US academic division for pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition-where specialists approached all of the students with a special program to involve them in biomedical research-have a great chance to establish a scientific career track and to become a medical specialist.