Demographic characteristics of doctors who intend to follow clinical academic careers: UK national questionnaire surveys.
Smith F., Lambert TW., Goldacre MJ.
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.