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Critical Gaps in Understanding the Clinician–Scientist Workforce: Results of an International Expert Meeting

Weggemans, Margot M. MD; Friesen, Farah MI; Kluijtmans, Manon PhD; Prakken, Berent MD, PhD; ten Cate, Olle PhD; Woods, Nicole N. PhD; Rosenblum, Norman D. MD; on behalf of the International Expert Group on the Clinician–Scientist Workforce

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002802
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Clinician–scientists—health care professionals expert in research and clinical practice—can play a vital role in translating research outcomes to clinical practice. Concerns about the sustainability of the clinician–scientist workforce have been expressed in the literature for decades. Although many have made recommendations to increase the clinician–scientist workforce, there has been no substantial change. Therefore, an international expert meeting was held in March 2017 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, with the goal of discovering unidentified gaps in our understanding of challenges to the sustainability of the clinician–scientist workforce. Nineteen individuals (steering committee members; representatives from the AAMC, AFMC, and RCPSC; and physician–scientists, nurse–scientists, education scientists, deans, vice deans, undergraduate and postgraduate program directors, and a medical student) from Canada, the Netherlands, the United States, and Singapore participated in the meeting. The meeting identified 3 critical questions to be addressed: (1) What is the particular nature of the clinician–scientist role? (2) How are clinician–scientists to be recognized within the health and health research ecosystem? and (3) How can the value that clinician–scientists add to translational medicine and research be clarified to stakeholders and the public? The meeting participants identified a 3-fold agenda to address these questions: articulating the value proposition of clinician–scientists, supporting professionalization and professional identity development, and integrating clinical and research training. Addressing the 3 critical questions will likely contribute to a wider recognition of the value of clinician–scientists and be a first step in advancing from recommendations toward system-level changes to reinvigorate the clinician–scientist workforce.

M.M. Weggemans is a PhD student, Center for Research and Development of Education, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9475-0731.

F. Friesen is education knowledge broker and program coordinator, Centre for Faculty Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9529-2795.

M. Kluijtmans is professor, Education Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6601-7639.

B. Prakken is professor, vice dean of education, and director, Education Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8488-4816.

O. ten Cate is professor and senior scientist, Center for Research and Development of Education, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6379-8780.

N.N. Woods is associate professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, and scientist, Wilson Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2976-1108.

N.D. Rosenblum is professor and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Nephrology, Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1767-6464.

The authors have informed the journal that they agree that both M.M. Weggemans and F. Friesen completed the intellectual and other work typical of the work of the first author.

Funding/Support: Funding for the meeting was provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the University Medical Center Utrecht, and the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Correspondence should be addressed to Norman D. Rosenblum, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, Hospital for Sick Children, 686 Bay St., Toronto, ON M5G 0A4, Canada; telephone: +1 (416) 813-5667; email: norman.rosenblum@sickkids.ca.

Copyright © 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges