Editorials

Who wants a career in academic medicine?

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7100.74 (Published 12 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:74

Integrated clinical, research, and teaching programmes could stop the decline

  1. Michael Rees, Professora
  1. a Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Bristol, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW

    “Clinical medicine and dentistry are very popular and rewarding professions; biomedical research is one of the most exciting, challenging and productive areas of research today. One might expect the combination of the two, namely clinical academic medicine and dentistry, would be among the most desirable of all professions, but all is not well.” So begins Sir Rex Richards's recently published report on clinical academic careers.1

    Why was there a need for such a report? The answer can be found in the disturbing statistics of poor recruitment and retention of Britain's medical academic staff, with 56 vacant chairs and 192 other vacant academic posts in 1995-6, and a steady exodus of senior lecturers out of academic medicine into NHS posts. It can also be found wherever medical academics gather to discuss their careers, as at the recent conference of the BMA's Medical Academic Staff Committee (MASC). Instead of optimistic …

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