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06 Sep 2013

AMA Position Statement on Clinical Academic Pathways in Medicine

The AMA today released its new Position Statement on Clinical Academic Pathways in Medicine 2013.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said there is an urgent need to encourage more junior doctors to choose a clinical academic career path.

“Boosting clinical academic numbers would deliver a double benefit to the Australian community,” Dr Hambleton said.

“It would increase our capacity for home-grown world-class medical research and it would produce more clinical academic teachers to ensure the next generation of Australian doctors is fully exposed to medical research and clinical training while at medical school.

“Over the past decade, the demise of clinical hospital departments, a decline in academic positions, and an ageing, increasingly part-time workforce have made it difficult for existing clinical academics to continue their research and meet the increased demand for education and training from the growing number of medical graduates coming through the system.

“As a result, junior doctors are less inclined to consider a career in academic medicine because of the challenges associated with career progression, job security, and remuneration.

“We have to turn this around - research experience and incentives to pursue higher degrees should be core components of the medical training experience rather than adjuncts to it,” Dr Hambleton said.

In order to promote careers in clinical academic medicine, the AMA recommends that:

  • medical students must have an opportunity to experience research in medical school;
  • clear and well-articulated pathways must be in place for trainees, senior doctors and clinical academics to pursue a clinical academic career;
  • strong mentors and role models must support early career clinical academics;
  • flexible entry and exit points must be a key feature of the pathway;
  • academic promotion and reward schemes must be developed;
  • more funding for clinical academic positions and research is needed to support academic development; and
  • support for academic medicine must be embedded in every aspect of the health system.

Dr Hambleton said that Federal and State governments, health departments, universities, medical colleges, and research institutes must work together to develop a strategy to cultivate and retain a well-trained and skilled clinical academic workforce.

The AMA Position Statement on Clinical Academic Pathways in Medicine is at

6 September 2013

CONTACT:         John Flannery                       02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                          Kirsty Waterford                    02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

Published: 06 Sep 2013