How, When, and Why Do Physicians Choose Careers in Academic Medicine? A Literature Review
ABSTRACT Medicine has different pathways in which physicians pursue their vocation. Clinical practice, research, and academia are common paths. The authors examined the literature to identify research-based factors influencing physicians to choose a career path in academic medicine.
In the fall of 2006, the authors searched the PubMed database from 1960 to 2006 using the term career academic medicine. Review of articles resulted in the identification of nine themes relating to academic medicine career paths. The authors summarized the important and relevant articles to capture what the literature contributed as a whole to the larger question, "How, when, and why do physicians choose an academic career in medicine?"
A synthesis of articles revealed that (1) values are essential to understanding the decision to enter a career in academic medicine, (2) factors associated with academic medicine career choice include research-oriented programs, gender, and mentors and role models, (3) an obstacle to pursuing this career path is loss of interest in academic careers during residency as residents learn about factors associated with academic careers in medicine, and (4) debt may be a barrier to choosing an academic career in medicine for some individuals in some specialties.
Despite the study findings, the larger question (stated above) remains essentially unanswered in the literature. The authors propose a call to action by various professional groups and organizations to use rigorous and complex research efforts to seek answers to this very important question.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: There have been significant pressures on urology training in North America over the last decade due to both the constantly evolving skill set required and the external demands around delivery of urological care, particularly in Canada. We explore the attitudes and experience of Canadian urology residents toward their postgraduate decisions on fellowship opportunities. The study consisted of a self-report questionnaire of 4 separate cohorts of graduating urology residents from 2008 to 2011. The first cohort graduating in 2008 and 2009 were sent surveys through SurveyMonkey.com after graduation from residency; those graduating in 2010 and 2011 were prospectively invited as a convenience sample attending a Queen's Urology Examination Skills Training Program review course just prior to graduation. The survey included both open- and closed-ended questions, employing a 5-point Likert scale, and explored the attitudes and experience of fellowship choices. Likert scores for each question were reported as means ± standard deviation (SD). Descriptive and correlative statistics were used to analyze the responses. In addition, an agreement score was created for those responding with "strongly agree" and "agree" on the Likert scale. A total of 104 surveys were administered, with 84 respondents (80.8% response rate). As a whole, 84.9% of respondents agreed that they pursued fellowships; oncology and minimally invasive urology were the most popular choices throughout the 4 years. Respondents stated that reasons for pursuing a fellowship included: interest in pursuing an academic career (mean 3.73± 1.1 (SD): agreement score 61.1%) as well as acquiring marketable skills to obtain an urology position (3.59 ± 1.3: 64.4%). Most agreed or strongly agreed (84.9%) that a reason for pursing a fellowship was an interest in focusing their practice to this sub-specialty area. In comparison, most graduates disagreed that a reason for pursuing a fellowship was that residency did not equip them with the necessary skills to practice urology (2.49 ± 1.2: 19%). Most (81.2%) of graduates agreed they knew enough about academic urology to know if it would be a suitable career choice for them versus 54.7% regarding community urology (p < 0.0001). Surprisingly, only 61.7% of residents agreed that they completed a community elective during training, and most felt they would have benefited from additional elective time in the community. Urology residents graduating from Canadian programs pursue postgraduate training to enhance their surgical skill set and to achieve marketability, but also to facilitate a potential academic career. Responses from the trainees suggest that exposure to community practice appears suboptimal and may be an area of focus for programs to aid in career counselling and professional development.11/2014; 8(11-12):437-41. DOI:10.5489/cuaj.2136
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Several medical schools have implemented programs aimed at supporting clinician-educators with formal mentoring, training, and experience in undergraduate medical teaching. However, consensus program design has yet to be established, and the effectiveness of these programs in terms of producing quality clinician-educator teaching remains unclear. The goal of this study was to review the literature to identify motivations and perceived barriers to clinician-educators, which in turn will improve clinician-educator training programs to better align with clinician-educator needs and concerns. Review of medical education literature using the terms "attitudes", "motivations", "physicians", "teaching", and "undergraduate medical education" resulted in identification of key themes revealing the primary motivations and barriers involved in physicians teaching undergraduate medical students. A synthesis of articles revealed that physicians are primarily motivated to teach undergraduate students for intrinsic reasons. To a lesser extent, physicians are motivated to teach for extrinsic reasons, such as rewards or recognition. The key barriers deterring physicians from teaching medical students included: decreased productivity, lack of compensation, increased length of the working day, patient concerns/ethical issues, and lack of confidence in their own ability. Our findings suggest that optimization of clinician-educator training programs should address, amongst other factors, time management concerns, appropriate academic recognition for teaching service, and confidence in teaching ability. Addressing these issues may increase the retention of clinicians who are active and proficient in medical education.01/2015; 6:45-54. DOI:10.2147/AMEP.S70139
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Medicare reimbursement cuts have been associated with declining gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist overuse in localized prostate cancer. Medical school affiliation and foreign training have been associated with persistent overuse. However, physician-level prescribing changes and the practice type of persistent overusers have not been examined. We sought to describe physician-level changes in GnRH agonist overuse and test the association of time in practice and solo practice type with GnRH agonist overuse. We matched American Medical Association physician data for 2138 urologists to Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Result-Medicare data for 12 943 men diagnosed with early-stage and lower-grade adenocarcinoma of the prostate between 2000 and 2007. We conducted a population-based, retrospective study using multilevel modeling to control for patient and provider characteristics. Three distinct patterns of GnRH agonist overuse were observed. Urologists' time in practice was not associated with GnRH agonist overuse (odds ratio (OR) 0.89; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75-1.05). However, solo practice type (OR 1.65; 95% CI: 1.34-2.02), medical school affiliation (OR 0.65; 95% CI: 0.55-0.77) and patient race were. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks (OR 1.76; 95% CI: 1.37-2.27), Hispanics (OR 1.41; 95% CI: 1.12-1.79) and men of 'other' race (OR 1.44; 95% CI: 1.04-1.99) had greater odds of receiving unnecessary GnRH agonists. GnRH agonist overuse remains high among some urologists who may be professionally isolated and difficult to reach. These urologists treat more vulnerable populations, which may contribute to health disparities in prostate cancer treatment quality. Nonetheless, these findings provide guidance to develop interventions to address overuse in prostate cancer.Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Disease advance online publication, 7 April 2015; doi:10.1038/pcan.2015.10.Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases 04/2015; 18(2). DOI:10.1038/pcan.2015.10 · 2.83 Impact Factor