Reviews Personal views

What funders and others can do to help save clinical academic medicine

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 30 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:806
  1. Jan Walmsley, assistant director (
  1. The Health Foundation, London

    Over the past six years the Health Foundation has made a substantial investment to support clinical academic medicine in the United Kingdom. As part of a review of this funding programme we recently undertook an extensive consultation exercise, meeting with 42 people representing major organisations in the field. The results of this consultation have proved invaluable in helping the Health Foundation shape its future contribution in this area and raise a number of questions about the future of clinical academic medicine.

    What are the benefits of research? People working in clinical academic medicine agree that it needs to be saved. But is that as evident to other people? We need to articulate the benefits of clinical research to patients. Clinical trials on patients are vital to the translation of new research into clinical practice, but they are in decline. How can we better articulate the benefits of academic medicine to increase interest?

    The interests of commercial companies mean that research in vital areas is not pursued

    Who is the customer for academic medicine? …

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