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The Most Valuable Resource Is Time: Insights From a Novel National Program to Improve Retention of Physician–Scientists With Caregiving Responsibilities

Jones, Rochelle D. MS; Miller, Jacquelyn MA; Vitous, C. Ann MA, MPH; Krenz, Chris; Brady, Kathleen T. MD; Brown, Ann J. MD, MHS; Daumit, Gail L. MD, MHS; Drake, Amelia F. MD; Fraser, Victoria J. MD; Hartmann, Katherine E. MD, PhD; Hochman, Judith S. MD; Girdler, Susan PhD; Libby, Anne M. PhD; Mangurian, Christina MD, MAS; Regensteiner, Judith G. PhD; Yonkers, Kimberly MD; Jagsi, Reshma MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002903
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Purpose To enhance understanding of challenges related to work–life integration in academic medicine and to inform the ongoing implementation of an existing program and the development of other interventions to promote success of physician–scientists.

Method This study is part of a prospective analysis of the effects of the Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists (FRCS), a national program launched by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation at 10 U.S. institutions, which provides financial support to physician–scientists facing caregiving challenges. In early 2018, 28 of 33 program awardees participated in semistructured interviews. Questions were about challenges faced by physician–scientists as caregivers and their early perceptions of the FRCS. Multiple analysts reviewed deidentified transcripts, iteratively revised the coding scheme, and interpreted the data using qualitative thematic analysis.

Results Participants’ rich descriptions illuminated 5 interconnected themes: (1) Time is a critical and limited resource, (2) timing is key, (3) limited time resources and timing conflicts may have a particularly adverse effect on women’s careers, (4) flexible funds enable reclamation and repurposing of time resources, and (5) FRCS leaders should be cognizant of time and timing conflicts when developing program-related offerings.

Conclusions Programs such as the FRCS are instrumental in supporting individuals to delegate time-consuming tasks and to control how they spend their valuable time. Qualitative analysis suggests that access to and command of valuable time resources are crucial to career advancement, research productivity, and work–life flexibility, especially during critical time points along the physician–scientist trajectory.

R.D. Jones is research area specialist intermediate, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

J. Miller is research area specialist intermediate, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0110-0567.

C.A. Vitous is qualitative research analyst, Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

C. Krenz is research area specialist intermediate, Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0514-4586.

K.T. Brady is distinguished university professor, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

A.J. Brown is professor of medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

G.L. Daumit is Samsung Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

A.F. Drake is Newton D. Fischer Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

V.J. Fraser is Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and chair, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

K.E. Hartmann is professor, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee.

J.S. Hochman is Harold Snyder Family Professor of Cardiology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5889-5981.

S. Girdler is professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0190-0938.

A.M. Libby is professor, CU School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4564-9407.

C. Mangurian is professor, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, California.

J.G. Regensteiner is professor, CU School of Medicine, and director, Center for Women’s Health Research, Judith and Joseph Wagner Chair in Women’s Health Research, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9331-3908.

K. Yonkers is professor, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

R. Jagsi is professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6562-1228.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A718.

Funding/Support: This work was funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The funders played no role in the analysis or interpretation of the results of this investigation or decision to submit for publication.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: This study was approved by the University of Michigan Institutional Review Board.

Data: The data reported here are from outside sources and do not require permission for use.

Correspondence should be addressed to Reshma Jagsi, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, UHB2C490, SPC 5010, 1500 E Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5010; telephone: (734) 936-8700; email: rjagsi@med.umich.edu; Twitter: @reshmajagsi.

Copyright © 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges