Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Chapter 24 - The Future of the NHS

This is a summary of chapter 24 - proposals to improve clinical academic training. It was written by Professor David E Neal and Professor Mark Walport. Professor David E Neal is Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Cambridge & Member of PMETB. He is an elected member of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a past Chairman of the SAC in Urology. Professor Mark Walport FMedSci, FRCP He is the Director of the Wellcome Trust and Chair of UKCRC & MMC Academic Careers Sub-committee.

In this chapter they address the importance of an academic career including researchers and educators by considering the following issues:
1) Academic medicine as a career had been under threat with warning bells ringing for some time over the perilous state. Several reports highlighted difficulties facing clinical academics, as they attempted to negotiate the hurdles of dual training in clinical and academic skills. Fortunately, an increase to NHS Research and Development funding and the promotion of a partnership approach to strengthen clinical research.
2) The increasing the strength of academic medicine to improve expertise in clinical research and education is of great benefit to the NHS and the wider academic and business community in the UK.
3) Overall, the prospects for academic medicine are improving, and depend upon working with the Colleges, Faculties and Specialties to ensure that new academic programmes are coherent with changes in training. If there continues to be real commitment to improve careers in Clinical Academic Medicine, then they expect prospects to be good and the declining number of academics to be reversed.

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