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Training cardiovascular outcomes researchers: A survey of mentees and mentors to identify critical training gaps and needs.

Khazanie P, Al-Khatib SM, Wang TY, Crowley MJ, Kressin NR, Krumholz HM, Kiefe CI, Wells BL, O'Brien SM, Peterson ED, Sanders GD. Training cardiovascular outcomes researchers: A survey of mentees and mentors to identify critical training gaps and needs. American heart journal. 2018 Feb 1; 196:170-177.

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BACKGROUND: Many young investigators are interested in cardiovascular (CV) outcomes research; however, the current training experience of early investigators across the United States is uncertain. METHODS: From April to November 2014, we surveyed mentees and mentors of early-stage CV outcomes investigators across the United States. We contacted successful grantees of government agencies, members of professional organizations, and trainees in CV outcomes training programs. RESULTS: A total of 185 (of 662) mentees and 76 (of 541) mentors completed the survey. Mentees were equally split by sex; most had completed training > 3 years before completing the survey and were clinicians. Mentors were more likely women, mostly = 20 years posttraining, and at an associate/full professor rank. Mentors reported devoting more time currently to clinical work than when they were early in their career and mentoring 2-4 people simultaneously. More than 80% of mentees started training to become academicians and completed training with the same goal. More than 70% of mentees desired at least 50% research time in future jobs. More than 80% of mentors believed that future investigators would need more than 50% time dedicated to research. Most mentees (80%) were satisfied with their relationship with their mentor and reported having had opportunities to develop independently. Mentors more frequently than mentees reported that funding cutbacks had negatively affected mentees'' ability to succeed (84% vs 58%). Across funding mechanisms, mentees were more optimistic than mentors about securing funding. Both mentees and mentors reported greatest preparedness for job/career satisfaction (79% for both) and publications (84% vs 92%) and least preparedness for future financial stability (48% vs 46%) and work-life balance (47% vs 42%). CONCLUSIONS: Survey findings may stimulate future discourse and research on how best to attract, train, and retain young investigators in CV outcomes research. Insights may help improve existing training programs and inform the design of new ones.

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