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Medical Research

Research Spectrum

Learn about AAMC medical research initiatives and publications.

About the GREAT Group

On September 19, 1996, the AAMC Executive Council approved a proposal to establish a new AAMC Group, the objective of which is the promotion of quality PhD and postdoctoral education in biomedical science. Membership in this body, termed the Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT Group), includes the faculty and administrative leaders of the PhD and postdoctoral education programs conducted under the auspices of accredited U.S. and Canadian medical schools. The GREAT Group maintains close ties with the Council of Deans and the Council of Academic Societies through special representation on the GREAT Group Steering Committee and the Administrative Boards of the two councils.

The Group's professional development meetings have been held annually since October 1994. These events bring together an expanding number of faculty and administrative leaders to interact with national experts concerned with the quality and quantity of biomedical PhD programs. These meetings have led to a general recognition of the challenges and opportunities confronting these programs and an agenda and organizational structure that the AAMC may use to address them. At the annual meeting, new members are elected to the GREAT Group Steering Committee.

In 2004, a MD-PhD Section was established to promote the development, growth and nurturing of physician-scientist training programs by representing the interest of MD-PhD programs. In 2008, a Postdoctorate Leaders Section was established to support and enhance the quality of postdoctoral research training and professional development for postdoctoral appointees by providing a forum for institutional leaders of postdoctoral education and training.

Issues that have been and will continue to be explored within the context of the GREAT Group activities include:

  • factors determining the quality of biomedical PhD degrees;
  • the need for modernized PhD curricula;
  • the challenges and opportunities posed by international PhD candidates and graduates;
  • balancing the production of biomedical PhD graduates with career opportunity;
  • the special nature and organization of graduate and postdoctoral education in the evolving academic medical center;
  • institutional support for optimal postdoctoral training;
  • diversity issues in biomedical graduate and postdoctoral programs; and
  • the expectations, realities, and obligations of mentors and mentees.