Desmond RA, Venkatesh R, Padilla LA, Daniel CL, Litton AG, Heimburger DC, Michael Brooks C, Waterbor JW. Twenty-five-Year Follow-up of Short-term Cancer Research Trainees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham: a Brief Report. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education. 2018 Jul 25. PMID: 30043388 [PubMed]
Long-term follow-up is needed to evaluate the impact of short-term cancer research programs on the career trajectories of medical and graduate students. Participation in these programs may be crucial in fostering the next generation of cancer research scientists. This report presents the career outcomes and research productivity of 77 medical and public health students with 25 years of tracking data following their participation in a summer cancer research training program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 1990-1998. Of 64 summer trainees with contact information, complete survey responses were received from 55 (86.0%) individuals. Over half reported clinical care of cancer patients and 18.2% stated that they were engaged in cancer research. Literature searches confirmed that 23.4% (18/77) of trainees have published cancer research papers. Future studies should explore the optimal timing of short-term post-baccalaureate academic cancer training experiences to identify participant characteristics and institutional factors that influence career choices and determine research productivity.