Journal Mobile

A Khajuria, K Cheng, J Levy
Journal Issue: 
Volume 47: Issue 1: 2017



Background Academic medicine is crucial for healthcare advancement. However, recruitment of junior doctors into academia remains an area of concern globally. In the UK, a national integrated clinical academic pathway was developed to address these issues, with the Academic Foundation Programme as the ‘first opportunity for research’. We aimed to evaluate whether a focused course on academic medicine could enhance knowledge, confidence and preparedness of candidates wishing to apply for an academic programme.

Methods UK medical students attended a national course conducted by current UK Academic Foundation Programme doctors that comprised lectures on academic medicine and various aspects of the Academic Foundation Programme. An online questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted with participants rating measures including knowledge, preparedness and confidence related to Academic Foundation Programme applications. Outcomes were measured using Likert scales (1=low; 5=high).

Results In total, 103 out of 155 attendees from 11 different UK medical schools responded to the survey (66% response rate). Pre and post-course data showed increase in participants’ knowledge (median score 2 vs 4, p < 0.0001), understanding of the application process (median score 2 vs 4, p < 0.0001), confidence (median score 2 vs 4, p < 0.0001) and preparedness (median score 2 vs 4, p < 0.0001) in applying for the Academic Foundation Programme.

Conclusion To our knowledge this is the first study in the available literature that demonstrates a focused course on academic medicine may enhance UK medical students’ knowledge, confidence and preparedness in applying for a clinical academic programme. Further research will ascertain whether such courses can augment trainee numbers undertaking and remaining within academic medicine.