America losing top medical talent to China and Japan

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

biomedical research
Without better biomedical research funding, America stands to lose both human lives and profits. Talented students and professionals might leave as well.

It used to be that a person who graduated with a medical degree in the United States basically had a golden ticket for a well-paying career. That was especially true for biomedical researchers, who study how to treat and prevent diseases. However, the US now spends so little money on this life-saving research, it’s in danger of being passed up by other countries like China and Japan.

America went from investing $131 billion in biomedical research at the start of 2007, to dropping all the way down to about $119 billion at the end of 2012.

While that’s still a hefty chunk of change, other countries such as China and Japan are actually increasing their research budget.

Why’s this such a major issue? Well, leading the research front is important not only for the American economy, but also for the international community. Other countries often depend on the advances made in the US, especially because America at one point made up 51% of the world’s biomedical research funding! Now, it’s down to 45% and falling fast. When short-term funding cuts fail to invest in long-term quality work, China or Japan will end up attracting the most talented scientists and students. If the US falls behind, everyone loses, because there will be less competition for inventive solutions.

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Cheaper labor and research often lead to lower quality work, not to mention lost profits… or lost lives in the case of biomedical studies. Investing good money in America’s best and brightest, like you, pays off big.

Featured image courtesy of US Army Materiel Command on Flickr