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Education And Debate

ICRAM (the International Campaign to Revitalise Academic Medicine): agenda setting

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 30 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:787
  1. International Working Party to Promote and Revitalise Academic Medicine (
  1. Correspondence to: D Wilkinson, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia

    Following the launch by the BMJ and others of the campaign to promote academic medicine, a working party of 20 medical academics from all over the world was convened to develop a plan of action


    Editorials published in several of the world's leading journals in the past few months have heralded the launch of a global campaign to promote and revitalise academic medicine.1 The campaign is a response to a widely held view that academic medicine is in crisis.2

    In June 2004 the BMJ Publishing Group and others ( convened a working party of medical academics to discuss the challenges facing academic medicine. This paper summarises the results of the meeting, and outlines how the working party will conduct its business in the next 12 months.

    What are the roles of academic medicine?

    Academic medicine is traditionally conceived of having three roles: teaching, research, and service. These roles are changing: academic medicine still has the primary responsibility for training doctors; research remains a core role but more is being done in institutes of biotechnology and biomedicine; and, most clinical service, even in academic centres, is now provided by non-academic doctors.

    We strongly feel that it is the “added value” or the synergy that should exist between these three roles—when they are brought effectively together—that defines academic medicine. Traditionally focused on tertiary hospitals, academic medicine must now extend more into primary care and public health. The traditional “clinical service” should be reframed more broadly as “service to …

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