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Survey Shows Health Center Ph.D.s
Have Flourishing Careers
October 25, 1999

One measure of the success of a program is how well its alumni fare in their careers. According to a recent survey of 1974-1999 Health Center Ph.D. graduates, these biomedical scientists are doing quite well.

Thirty-one percent hold faculty appointments at or above the rank of assistant professor at institutions including Columbia University, Harvard Medical School, New York University, Tufts, and the University of Michigan. This group of 72 graduates includes one dean, four department heads, and one acting department head. Another 15 percent hold non-faculty academic positions.

Twenty-one percent work at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, and Proctor and Gamble. Another 9 percent work for federal or state government. Twenty percent hold post- doctoral positions. A few others are not working in science.

The graduates surveyed include those who earned Ph.D.s, completed the requirements for the combined M.D./Ph.D. degree, or earned Ph.D.s while completing dental residencies. Data was collected from 229 individuals, representing 89 percent of all graduates.

"The results of this survey reflect very positively on both the strong qualifications of students that we matriculate and the splendid job done by our faculty in providing educational and research-training experiences," says Gerald Maxwell, associate dean of the Health Center Graduate School.

The survey also compared the career outcomes of individuals five to 10 years after award of the Ph.D. with 15,000 similar individuals surveyed nationally by the National Research Council. The percentage of Health Center Ph.D. graduates who are faculty members, hold other academic positions, or work in government is higher than national percentages, while the percentages working in biotechnology or pharmaceuticals are the same. Health Center graduates are less likely than their counterparts to be postdoctoral fellows, be self-employed, work outside science, or not be currently in the workforce.

Mara Braverman