From here you can find out:

What an academic career can include:

  • Key documents and organisations from which you can find out more about an academic career
  • Who is suited to an academic career
  • When you can embark on an academic career
  • How you can embark on an academic career
  • Resources relating to an academic career

What a career in academic medicine can include

Academic careers can include any of three different activities:

  • Undergraduate/Postgraduate medical education and training
  • Research
  • Clinical work

No two academic jobs are the same as the proportion of time spent doing each (or any) of the three components and the way in which the components are conducted will vary from person to person.

To get you started, watch the podcast from the conference, "Clinical Academic Training: reflections on progress", hosted by BMA's Medical Academic Staff Committee (MASC) on Saturday 22nd November.


Key Documents To help you find out more

UK Clinical Research Collaboration has produced New academic training pathways for medical and dental graduates: a guide to programs starting on or after 1st August 2007. Access it here 

Academic Careers Sub-committee of Modernising Medical Careers and the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. Medically and dentally qualified academic staff: recommendations for training the researchers and educators of the future. Available from here [this contains fantastic, clear diagrams detailing the structure of training of researchers and educationalists]

British Medical Association has produced information on “A career in academic medicine” Access it here  

Association for the Study of Medical Education produced Degrees of difference: an investigation of masters and doctorate programmes in medical education. Edinburgh: ASME; 2005.


Key organisations to help you find out more

UK Clinical Research Collaboration 

Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) and the Junior Association for the Study of Medical Education (JASME)

The Academy of Medical Sciences  [lots of information on a career in academic medicine including specific information for medical students and doctors in training, required qualifications and sources of potential funding]

British Medical Association webpage for Medical Academics

International Campaign to Revitalise Academic Medicine (ICRAM)

National Coordinating Centre for Research Capacity Development 


Who is suited to a career in academic medicine?

"It’s a curiosity about what lies behind disease and finding better ways to investigate and treat it…a questioning approach is important to all doctors because there are so many things we don’t know."

- Professor Mark Walport

Desired qualities of applicants to academic jobs:

  • Curious
  • Questioning
  • Enthusiasm

Even if have a preference to education or research, be competent in both. 

If you are interested in an academic career you cannot be set on being "the best" clinican and "the best" in your research field. You will not have time to compete against pure clinicians or pure researchers striving to be outstanding as well. However, this does not mean you are going to be incompetent or "bad" at any area, you can be a good or even a great clinician, researcher and educator. The balance you come to will depend upon your interests. You will bring qualities to your clincial work from your academic experience and vice versa and this will help you to succeed at both.


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