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Analysis in Brief

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Academic medical centers -- United States, Medicine -- Research -- United States


In this Analysis in Brief, we report on the findings from a 2004 survey of directors of research centers and institutes located at research-intensive medical schools and their parent universities, who identified their unit’s primary mission as basic, clinical, or other type of research. While many assertions have been made about the functions that centers and institutes perform, or do not perform, our findings indicate that their missions and roles are varied, complex, and nuanced. The 604 research centers and institutes in the study conduct a variety of tasks. For the purposes of this analysis, we define “some effort” to be at least 10 percent but less than 50 percent of the center’s effort; “a majority of effort” is 50 percent or more. Not surprisingly, most research centers devote a substantial portion of their effort to basic or clinical research or both.


©2005 Association of American Medical Colleges. Available at

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