The American Society for Clinical Investigation seeks to support the scientific efforts, educational needs, and clinical aspirations of physician-scientists to improve the health of all people.
The ASCI is a nonprofit medical honor society composed of more than 3,000 physician-scientists representing all medical specialties. The Society is dedicated to the advancement of research that extends understanding of diseases and improves treatment, and members are committed to mentoring future generations of physician-scientists.
Founded in 1908, the ASCI is one of the nation’s oldest medical honor societies and is among the few organizations focused on the special role of physician-scientists in research, clinical care, and medical education, as well as leadership positions in academic medicine and the life sciences industry.
Each year, the ASCI Council considers membership nominations of several hundred physician-scientists — aged 50 years or younger — and recommends up to 100 candidates for election based on outstanding scholarly achievement. Election is a milestone in the physician-scientist career path, and the ASCI holds its members to the highest standards of integrity, professionalism, mutual respect, and collegiality. Along with the Association of American Physicians and American Physician Scientists Association, the ASCI convenes an annual scientific meeting in Chicago. With the guidance of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, the Society has established programs and processes to achieve equity and meaningful inclusion for people of all identities, with a focus on physician-scientists who are underrepresented in medicine and science (UiMS).
Physician-scientist career support and development
ASCI programs support physician-scientists along their career path, with opportunities available to young investigators for awards, education, mentorship, and networking. See the Physician-Scientist Development Committee page for more information on programs for young investigators.
- Awards: The ASCI recognizes and supports aspiring investigators and physician-scientists as they establish and develop their careers with:
- Career development: Early-career awardees have access to long-term programming, including workshops, virtual poster sessions, and mentorship opportunities.
Scientific Sessions are free monthly virtual presentations by distinguished leaders in biomedical research.
Along with career development recognition, the ASCI presents two annual awards to highly accomplished later-career physician-scientist: the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award and, in conjunction with the Harrington Discovery Institute, the ASCI / Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine.
The ASCI is a member society of two organizations that work to promote increased federal funding and sound science policy through direct Congressional advocacy and member participation:
For a detailed history, see Howell JD. A history of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. J Clin Invest. 2009; 119(4):682–697.
The eminent physiologist Dr. Samuel J. Meltzer conceived of the idea for the American Society for Clinical Investigation during the 1907 American Medical Association meeting in Atlantic City. The Society would meet the need expressed by young scientists to form an organization distinct from the well-established Association of American Physicians (AAP), whose membership was older and limited to 160 focused more on pathology than physiology. The purpose of the new society would be “the encouragement of medical research in this country by men engaged actively in the practice of medicine”; it would give those not yet eligible for the AAP the advantages of meeting and sharing ideas with other researchers. The American Society for the Advancement of Clinical Investigation was formally constituted in May 1908, in Washington, DC. The first meeting, with Dr. Meltzer as president, was held in Atlantic City a year later. The name was changed to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1916.
Note on terminology
From the Society’s founding — which was coincident with the rebellion of young political reformists against the Ottoman monarchy — ASCI members had referred to themselves colloquially as the “Young Turks” in order to convey what they viewed as their own spirit of innovation and transformation. Without historical context, however, this term has become potentially hurtful and offensive in view of the devolvement of some of the rebellious Turkish factions from political reformers to participants in the Armenian Genocide (starting in 1915). It is no longer used by the Society.