Introduction to Clinical Academic Medicine
The University of Sheffield, in partnership with the Yorkshire and Humber Postgraduate Deanery and local Sheffield NHS Trusts, offers an exciting pathway of training, offering experience of clinical and academic medicine while working alongside internationally-renowned clinicians and researchers. Trainees are entitled to an honorary university contract for the duration of their academic training.
Clinical academic medicine involves a combination of research, teaching and patient care. Clinical academics performing medical science are in a unique position, taking observations from patients in their clinics or on the wards into the laboratory for study. This helps bridge the gap between scientific research and patient care, translating ideas that seem promising in the laboratory into treatments that benefit patients.
In a typical week a clinical academic sees patients, plans and performs research, holds meetings with fellow researchers and teaches other professionals and students. They also attend national and international meetings to view work of others and to disseminate knowledge from own work. Clinical academics help shape the undergraduate curriculum and contribute substantially to postgraduate medical training.
How do I become a Clinical Academic?
Student Selected Components (SSC), BMedSci courses or MB-PhD offer experience of academic medicine at an undergraduate level.
During postgraduate training Academic Foundation programmes include protected time in a research environment.
⇒ These can lead to: ⇒
Clinical Academic Fellowships are for those who have obtained their Foundation competencies. As well as providing basic specialty or core medical training these posts include nine months' protected research time. The fellow conducts research that will form the basis of a Research Training Fellowship application to an external funding body such as the MRC or the Wellcome Trust.
⇒ These can lead to: ⇒
Research Training Fellowships last 3 to 4 years and lead to a PhD.
The next step is to obtain a Clinical Lecturer post to complete clinical specialty training (leading to the award of a CCT) and to begin postdoctoral research.
Senior Clinical Lecturer or Senior Fellowship positions combine work as an honorary consultant with research in a chosen field.
Doctors and dentists employed by universities pursue research and educate the next generation of healthcare workers. They also spend half their time in the NHS caring for patients. They are in the ideal position to work with their NHS colleagues to identify problems, devise effective solutions and bring evidence-based innovations into clinical practice.