Changing the face of academic medicine

September 30, 2004

Academic medicine is failing to drive innovation and excellence in clinical practice, argue an international group of leading medical academics, in this week's BMJ.

They believe that academic medicine is failing to carry out its key roles of research, teaching, and patient care, and have developed a plan of action to tackle these problems. "We need a new vision for academic medicine," they write. "We need to articulate and demonstrate the economic and social value that academic medicine provides. And we need a global perspective."

Others question how academic medicine deals with gender issues. Researchers in the United States argue that improving gender equity (fairness and justness) rather than gender equality (equal numbers of men and women) is essential for a revitalised academic medicine, a strengthened health workforce, and improved public health.

Canadian doctors discuss conflicts involving academic freedom, while two editorials highlight how academic medicine can help improve health in developing countries.

Finally, in a letter to the BMJ, several authors argue that the governance of academic medicine should be turned over to public trustees. They ask: "If academic medicine exists to promote the public interest, is it not time to grant patients and the public at large a controlling interest in setting priorities and overseeing operations?"


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