Crisis in medics' training

June 21, 2002

Academic medicine is in crisis with one in ten professorial and senior clinical posts, and one in five lecturer posts, vacant, according to the Academy of Medical Sciences, writes Claire Sanders.

Launching the report Clinical Academic Medicine in Jeopardy this week, Sir Peter Morris, chairman of the working group that produced the report, said: "The situation for academic medicine is becoming desperate, especially for craft specialities such as surgery. Concerted action by all the stakeholders - the academy, the government, the universities, the medical royal colleges - is needed."

Lord Turnberg, vice-president of the academy, said: "The pressures on academic medicine are now severe and threaten our ability to train the nation's future doctors and to undertake vital research into the causes of, and cures for, disease."

The report says more time should be secured for teaching through a big increase in new combined clinical and teaching National Health Service consultant posts.

It says time for research must be protected and advocates a model job plan for all clinical academics, with revalidation and appraisal reflecting the work patterns of clinical academics.

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