Decline in teaching doctors threatens expansion plans

Decreasing
numbers of medical academics is threatening the quality of medical teaching and
casting doubt on whether the planned expansion of doctor numbers can be
achieved.

The BMA’s annual
conference for clinical academics heard that clinical academics used to form 11
per cent of the NHS consultant workforce. This has dropped to 8 per cent. Fewer
than 1,000 clinical academic doctors now work in the health service and there
are 79 vacant professorial posts in medical schools.

This is despite
the number of medical students expanding by 56 per cent between 1998 and 2003.

Professor Ian
Gilmore, registrar of the Royal College of Physicians, told the conference that
clinical academics routinely work at least a 64-hour week, 32 for the NHS and
32 for their university.

www.bma.org.uk

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