Many leaders in academia have lamented the length of the training period required to become a physician-scientist, and leaders of the NIH and other major organizations have stressed the need for shortening the duration of training. It is well known that the average age at which physician-scientists acquire their first major independent grants has increased dramatically in the past few decades. While the dearth of funding has undoubtedly contributed to this, the length of the training period is daunting to many young people considering medicine and research as a career.
Should the training period be shortened? If so, where along the pathway might this be feasible? For example, should MD/PhD programs pressure their trainees to complete the program in a shorter time period?