Support for biomedical research and its impact on radiology.

Research paper by D G DG Bragg, W R WR Hendee

Indexed on: 01 Dec '94Published on: 01 Dec '94Published in: Radiology


Research in medical imaging has experienced substantial growth during the past decade. Still, research is a small fraction of the budget of the typical academic radiology program. Few radiology faculty participate in hypothesis-driven research projects. Funding of research will be more difficult to secure in the future, since clinical subsidies will diminish or disappear, support from industry is decreasing, and funds from private foundations and philanthropists are not likely to increase. Support from the NIH will probably remain about level in constant dollars. In response to these constraints, radiology will have to be both more creative and more opportunistic to tap the limited remaining resources of research support. An excellent compilation of some major resources was recently published by Williams and Holden (9). Efforts of the Conjoint Committee will continue to be critical for continuing support of the LDRR, encouraging the allocation of intramural and extramural resources of the NCI to medical imaging, guiding the development of the American Academy of Radiologic Research, providing research training opportunities for physicians and scientists in radiology, and leading the research effort in medical imaging in general (10). Within individual institutions and departments, imaging research must continue to be acknowledged as a priority despite increasing pressures to generate clinical revenue. Enhanced efforts are warranted to nurture the research interests of younger faculty and selected residents and fellows, including pairing them with research mentors and providing them with opportunities to develop skills in areas such as research design, statistical analysis, and evaluative techniques. The long-term well-being of radiology and its important contributions to patient care are dependent on its continued investment in research and development.