Unhealthy diversion

June 29, 2017

I have a great deal of sympathy with the views of Philip Chan about the diversion of funds from teaching student doctors to research (“Medical education is a rich patient at risk of being bled dry”, Opinions, 15 June).

I wish it was otherwise in Scotland or in dentistry, but sadly I believe that it is no different. In more than 35 years as a clinical teacher, I have seen a gradual, but steady, diminution in the resources for training student dentists. The clinical experience of the students has also markedly reduced. In my view, this reflects not just a lack of investment but also the diversion of resources away from clinical training towards research. There is little incentive for ambitious young academic doctors or dentists to be overly concerned with teaching undergraduates or treating patients. The quickest way to become a professor is to focus on research. This approach will be encouraged by the university, and the mundane matter of training the medical or dental student can be left to unspecified others. Universities have a responsibility to address this issue and to ensure that funds are not inappropriately diverted.

John R. Drummond
Senior lecturer/consultant
School of Dentistry/NHS Tayside
University of Dundee


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments