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Publication Detail
A Qualitative Study of the Influences on Clinical Academic Physicians' Postdoctoral Career Decision-Making.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Ranieri VF, Barratt H, Rees G, Fulop NJ
  • Publication date:
    23/01/2018
  • Journal:
    Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Medium:
    Print-Electronic
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    1040-2446
  • Language:
    eng
  • Addresses:
    V.F. Ranieri is research associate, Academic Careers Office, School of Life and Medical Sciences, and Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, London, United Kingdom; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0528-8640. H. Barratt is clinical senior research associate, Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, London, United Kingdom; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1387-137X. G. Rees is dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, professor of cognitive neurology, and director, Academic Careers Office, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9623-7007. N.J. Fulop is professor of health care organization and management, Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, London, United Kingdom; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5306-6140.
Abstract
To describe the influences on clinical academic physicians' postdoctoral career decision-making.Thirty-five doctoral trainee physicians from University College London took part in semi-structured interviews in 2015 and 2016. Participants were asked open-ended questions about their career to-date, their experiences undertaking a PhD, and their career plans post-PhD. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to generate, review, and define themes from the transcripts. Emerging differences and similarities in participants' reasons for pursuing a PhD were then grouped to produce typologies to explore how their experiences influenced their career decision-making.Participants described four key reasons for undertaking a PhD, which formed the basis of the four typologies identified. These reasons included: to pursue a clinical academic career; to complete an extensive period of research to understand whether a clinical academic career was the desired path forward; to improve clinical career prospects; and to take a break from clinical training.These findings highlight the need to target efforts at retaining clinical academic physicians according to their reasons for pursuing a PhD and their subsequent experiences with the process. Those responsible for overseeing clinical training must be well-informed of the long-term benefits of training academically-qualified physicians. In light of current political uncertainty, universities, hospitals, and external agencies alike must increase their efforts to inspire and assuage early-career clinical academic physicians' fears regarding their academic future.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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