In October, the Academy and partners wrote to the Secretary of State for Health to express concern that changes in the proposed contract for junior doctors could introduce significant disincentives for aspiring clinician scientists.
These clinicians need to undertake research training alongside the already demanding pressures of clinical training and service provision. Their career path is long and challenging, often taking over 10 years to complete their training.
It would be of great worry if changes in the junior doctors' contract were to adversely affect the recruitment of talented medical trainees to the clinician scientist career pathway.
The letter highlights that junior doctors undertaking research training should not be considered 'out of programme'. Research training competitively awarded by UK funders should be incorporated as an integral part of postgraduate training and Annual Reviews of Competence Progression.
The future of the UK’s healthcare and global competitiveness in medical research are highly dependent on recruiting and retaining highly skilled clinician scientists. The UK must avoid losing these talents at all costs.