OBJECTIVE: This report describes the postdoctoral research training of
faculty in departments of psychiatry and relates research training
characteristics to current involvement in research. METHOD: Data were taken
from a survey of 3,107 doctoral-level faculty in departments of psychiatry
at 116 U.S. medical schools. The survey instrument gathered information
about faculty members' postdoctoral research training and current research
activities and elicited recommendations for research training programs.
RESULTS: Of the survey respondents, 34.8% had had some form of postdoctoral
research training. Most of those had trained in medical schools or
intramural programs of the National Institutes of Health and federal
institutes on alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental health. Most funding came
from the federal government. Postdoctoral research training was
significantly related to greater current research involvement across all
degree types--M.D., Ph.D., and M.D.-Ph.D. Length of training was related to
level of research involvement for M.D.s and Ph.D.s but not M.D.-Ph.D.s.
Although most researchers believed their training programs prepared them
for independent research, a smaller proportion of M.D.s than M.D.-Ph.D.s or
Ph.D.s responded affirmatively to that question. Researchers were more
likely than nonresearchers to consider their training adequate. Respondents
rated time with mentor, course work in statistics, and length of training
as the most important training program features. Both research training and
research activities were concentrated in a relatively few institutions.
CONCLUSIONS: These data show the critical importance of both federal
support of research training and postdoctoral research training for
subsequent research involvement of psychiatric faculty.