Do you want to become a clinical academic? Plan ahead, say Ed Peile and Neil Johnson
- By: Ed Peile, Neil Johnson
Medical academics are trained as medical practitioners and scientists. They conduct original scientific research, teach medical students and medical graduates, and provide patient care. Senior clinical academics can also take on administrative responsibilities for universities and the health service. Some become deans or even vice chancellors or chief executives.
Why might a medical student choose a career in academic medicine? Does the intellectual stimulation of an academic environment outweigh the disadvantages of longer training, harder work, and probably less financial reward? For many, the answer is yes. The challenge to develop medical science and shape the teaching of the future has appeal.
Some clinical academics are employed by NHS trusts and others by universities. Indeed the Academy of Medical Sciences states that clinical academics have responsibilities to “their university and their NHS hospital trust, combining ‘service delivery with research, teaching and or administration.'”1 Jobs vary in terms of the proportion