Study: Family medicine woefully underrepresented at NIH

A new study has found that family physicians and departments of family medicine are woefully underrepresented in grants from the NIH. Researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analyzed data about NIH grants from 2002 to 2006. They found that grants to family medicine accounted for a measly 0.2 percent of the total grants given out in 2006.

Perhaps part of this comes from the lack of representation for family medicine on NIH advisory committees. Family medicine department members only accounted for 21 of the 5,500 on an NIH committee or subcommittee, and only nine of those 21 members were actually family physicians.

Perhaps these findings, which appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine, will push the NIH to make efforts to increase the representation of family physicians in its funding.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Washington Post piece