A new study shows how the Vietnam War–era initiative shaped a generation of star physician-researchers—and offers lessons that can be applied today.
Around 2015, two researchers who study the biomedical workforce found a treasure trove in the National Archives: a stash of applications from a Vietnam War–era program for young doctors.
The program, established in 1953, brought recent medical school graduates to the National Institutes of Health for two or three years of intensive research training, where they would learn to solve problems that would improve patient care and public health. During the war, applications increased dramatically, as people sought to fulfill their military service obligations through the program. Many of
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