Intended for healthcare professionals


Reviving academic medicine in Britain

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 19 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:511

Research and education must be given equal weight

  1. Sam Leinster (, director of medical studies
  1. University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GA
  2. Department of Dermatology, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW

    EDITOR—The discussion on the malaise affecting academic medicine is welcome and timely, but I am disappointed by the emphasis of the articles.1-3 Although Catto and Tomlinson both refer to teaching, the evident focus, as highlighted in the editorial,4 is on research. I accept the need for a sound training in research, but I am concerned by the implication that if an academic has a sound clinical and research training then teaching will follow naturally.

    Teaching is a fundamental part of being a doctor,5 but, as with the other skills that are needed, it must be learnt. At the most basic level, anyone who is going to teach medical students must understand the basic concepts of setting objectives for the session and preparing a teaching plan. The medical education is, however, more than an agglomeration of individual teaching episodes. Curriculum planning, assessment of students, and programme evaluation are all professional activities with their own well developed scholarship. Many …

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