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Demographic characteristics of doctors who intend to follow clinical academic careers: UK national questionnaire surveys

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fay SmithORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2014, Smith F, et al. Postgrad Med J. All Rights Reserved. Objectives It is well recognised that women are underrepresented in clinical academic posts. Our aim was to determine which of a number of characteristics— notably gender, but also ethnicity, possession of an intercalated degree, medical school attended, choice of specialty—were predictive of doctors’ intentions to follow clinical academic careers. Design Questionnaires to all UK-trained medical graduates of 2005 sent in 2006 and again in 2010, graduates of 2009 in 2010 and graduates of 2012 in 2013. Results At the end of their first year of medical work, 13.5% (368/2732) of men and 7.3% (358/4891) of women specified that they intended to apply for a clinical academic training post; and 6.0% (172/2873) of men and 2.2% (111/5044) of women specified that they intended to pursue clinical academic medicine as their eventual career. A higher percentage of Asian (4.8%) than White doctors (3.3%) wanted a long-term career as a clinical academic, as did a higher percentage of doctors who did an intercalated degree (5.6%) than others (2.2%) and a higher percentage of Oxbridge graduates (8.1%) than others (2.8%). Of the graduates of 2005, only 30% of those who in 2006 intended a clinical medicine career also did so when re-surveyed in 2010 (men 44%, women 12%). Conclusions There are noteworthy differences by gender and other demographic factors in doctors’ intentions to pursue academic training and careers. The gap between men and women in aspirations for a clinical academic career is present as early as the first year after qualification.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith F, Lambert TW, Goldacre MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Postgraduate Medical Journal

Year: 2014

Volume: 90

Issue: 1068

Pages: 557-564

Print publication date: 01/10/2014

Online publication date: 18/08/2014

Acceptance date: 28/07/2014

Date deposited: 28/05/2019

ISSN (print): 0032-5473

ISSN (electronic): 1469-0756

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2014-132681

PubMed id: 25136138


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