Rationale: To identify barriers and opportunities for Ph.D., basic and translational scientists to be fully integrated into clinical units. Objectives: In 2022, an ad hoc committee of the American Thoracic Society developed a project proposal and workshop to identify opportunities and barriers for scientists who do not practice medicine to develop successful careers and achieve tenure-track faculty positions in clinical departments and divisions within academic medical centers (AMCs) in the United States. Methods: This document focuses on results from a survey of adult and pediatric pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine division chiefs as well as a survey of workshop participants, including faculty in departmental and school leadership roles in both basic science and clinical units within U.S. AMCs. Results: We conclude that full integration of non-clinically practicing basic and translational scientists into the clinical units, in addition to their traditional placements in basic science units, best serves the tripartite mission of AMCs to provide care, perform research, and educate the next generation. Evidence suggests clinical units do employ Ph.D. scientists in large numbers, but these faculty are often hired into non-tenure track positions, which do not provide the salary support, start-up funds, research independence, or space often associated with hiring in basic science units within the same institution. These barriers to success of Ph.D. faculty in clinical units are largely financial. Conclusions: Our recommendation is for AMCs to consider and explore some of our proposed strategies to accomplish the goal of integrating basic and translational scientists into clinical units in a meaningful way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1087
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Ph.D
  • academic medical center
  • basic science
  • clinical departments
  • translational science


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