Adapt or Perish
Updating the Predoctoral Training Model
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Adapt or Perish—Updating the Predoctoral Training Model
“But I think it [the Model] is more likely to change when, and because, far-reaching changes in the mental temper of our descendants demand that it should. The new Model will not be set up without evidence, but the evidence will turn up when the need for it becomes sufficiently great.” (222–223)
The fate of biomedical research lies in the hands of future generations of scientists. In recent decades, the diversity of scientific career opportunities has exploded multidimensionally. However, the educational system for maintaining a pipeline of talented biomedical trainees remains unidimensional and has become outdated. This Viewpoint identifies inadequacies in training and offers potential solutions and implementation strategies to stimulate interest in science at a younger age and to better align individualized training pathways with career opportunities (precision training). Both interventions support of the ultimate goal of attracting the best possible future leaders in biomedical science.
In his final published work, the eminent scholar C.S. Lewis describes the medieval model that dominated European intellectual life for centuries and explores how and why this model was replaced—because of discovery of dying stars, development of new scientific theories, and more. Aside from being a testament to an exceptional mind, C.S. Lewis’ The Discarded Image also contains wisdom directly relevant to the scientific milieu of the 21st century. Over the past 100 years, science and society have experienced unprecedented, dramatic change as a result of globalization, the Internet, advances in scientific capability, and an increasingly diverse and expanding scientific workforce. Such a large shift in the fabric of society has necessitated a corresponding shift in the environment in which we as scientists operate. However, scientific education lingers behind, using principles and processes that have not changed for many decades. The educational system responsible for training a new generation of …