What is Academic Medicine? Why is it Important for Doctor of Osteopathic?

In your journey to becoming a doctor, you have probably never heard of this: Choosing the specialty in which you practice medicine is not the first decision you should make. That is why you have to understand what academic medicine or clinical academics is and how it differs from the normal clinical medicine you know.

You should first choose between an academic career or a clinical career and only then choose the subject. Why? Because there is a much bigger difference between an academic and non-academic life of a medical doctor.

Clinical academics are often expected to inspire and educate the next generation of clinicians, and to innovate in treatment and practice

This article will open you up to a lot of information about what academic medicine really is and why is it Important for Doctor of Osteopathic.

What is Academic Medicine?

Academic medicine is a loosely defined term that describes the branch of medicine that is operated by doctors who perform a variety of scientific activities.

While the traditional role of clinical academics is to provide, research, and teach clinical care, academics may now spend part of their time in managerial and representative roles.

Clinical workloads vary, and some scientists may choose to give up clinical medicine altogether. Every academic has a different job description, which is one of the many attractions of an academic career.

Academic medicine includes the traditional triple mission to educate the next generation of doctors and biomedical scientists, discover causes and remedies for diseases, and expand knowledge about patient care while caring for patients.

This definition suggests that defining academic medicine is not enough simply by referring to the three main activities of the academic medical school – in other words, all academic medicine is greater than the sum of its parts.

Terminologies to be Familiar with in Academic Medicine

Academic medicine: Refers to medical organizations in which a medical school that teaches students who want to become doctors also provides medical care to patients.

Doctor or attending doctor: A doctor or attending doctor is a doctor (MD) or osteopathic medicine (DO) doctor who has completed a graduate education, also known as a residency, to seek medical care in a clinic or hospital in the United States or any other country, to ensure specialty that they focused on during their residency program.

The attending doctor is the doctor who monitors and teaches all scholarship holders, residents, or medical students who may be in the room.

Fellow: A doctor who has completed his residency and decides to continue training in a specific area of ​​health care. For example, a surgeon living in surgery could receive a brain surgery grant to examine brain surgery more closely. This is an optional step for doctors.

Resident: A doctor who has graduated from medical school and is receiving training in a focus area called a specialty.

Intern or first-year resident: A doctor who has completed medical school and is in his first year of post-medical training and is gaining supervised experience working with patients.

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Medical student: A person who is in medical school. Medical students wear shorter white coats and are only referred to as doctors after completing their medical studies.

What do Academic medical Doctors do?

Clinical-academic doctors combine teaching, research, and treatment of patients. This enables them to stay at the forefront of clinical knowledge while training the next generation of doctors.

The decision for a clinical-academic career does not have to be made while studying medicine. There are various levels of education at which a career in clinical science can be considered. However, if you start early, this is done with an intercalated degree.

Who is a Doctor of Osteopathic?

A Doctor in Osteopathic Medicine (DO) is a licensed doctor who aims to improve the general health and well-being of people with osteopathic manipulative medicine by stretching, massaging, and moving the musculoskeletal system.

DOs, also known as osteopaths or osteopathic doctors, are authorized to prescribe medication, perform operations, and use technology imaging to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries.

Many use practical, manual treatments to relieve pain, increase physical mobility, and improve blood circulation and lymphatic fluid.

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Why Academic Medicine?

Academic medicine can be an uncertain business. Competition for research grants is tough and there is constant pressure on innovative ideas. On the other hand, an academic career offers lifelong intellectual stimulation, diversity, and autonomy.

One of the main motivations for many is the opportunity to make discoveries that can be directly linked to improvements in patient care. A common belief is that academics are poorly rewarded financially. That is untrue.

Aside from private practice, academics are now paid the same remuneration as their clinical counterparts. Other advantages are the opportunity to travel and work with colleagues internationally.

However, if you are unwilling to devote yourself to your career and plan on spending those extra hours, academic medicine is not for you.

Why is Academic Medicine important for the Doctor of Osteopathy?

A career in academic medicine is a rewarding path for some Dos (Osteopaths) who enjoy the ability to influence patient care by educating and instructing medical students and residents of the osteopathic profession.

Although most doctors complete their residences and set out into the clinical world, some DOs choose an academic path for good reason, according to the DOs we spoke to.

In addition to a more flexible schedule, there is an opportunity to diversify your skills – by treating patients, teaching students, and doing research – and building strong mentoring relationships.

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The path from residence to science has its advantages, although it is not chosen so often among new doctors. Most people want to practice and work to repay their loans. The general impact of teaching has long-term advantages over the clinical setting.

Are there more Academic Doctors than Clinical Doctors?

Approximately 18,000 medical students in the US will have taken the Hippocratic oath during this year’s final season. As these newly indoctrinated doctors plan their next steps, the majority will opt out of science, which will lead to a potential crisis in medical and health innovation.

Although 45 percent of medical students seek academic education, only about 16 percent will. Of those who work in an academic environment, up to 38 percent leave the academy within 10 years.

The entire healthcare system depends on the recruitment and retention of creative, highly qualified doctors in the academic field. Academic doctors point the way to medical progress through research in laboratories, at the bedside, and in the community.

They are responsible not only for training medical students and doctors in training but also for practicing doctors through lectures, magazine publications, and conferences that disseminate the latest medical knowledge on a broad basis. In addition, doctors at academic medical centers are often the last glimmer of hope for people with unexplained or complicated medical problems.

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What is Intercalation?

An intercalated degree in medicine offers the opportunity to combine a regular medical degree with an additional academic year in a related area. This can include research or teaching and is usually a research project of your choice.

It is therefore an opportunity to deal with original research already in the basic course and to get an idea of ​​academic medicine.

The intercalation is applied during medical studies and requires two or three years of study to be completed before it can be carried out.

Specific intercalation courses are offered at different universities, so the intercalation is likely to take place at another university where the medical degree is being studied.

After completing the intercalated year, the student returns for the last two or three years of medical school. The result will be the award of a medical degree and an additional degree, often a BSc or MSc. This opens up the opportunity to study for a doctorate later.

Intercalation offers the opportunity to pursue topics from a wide range of areas. This includes many areas of biomedical research such as microbiology or genomics, medical humanities such as history or philosophy, or crossover topics with veterinary sciences such as zoology or veterinary epidemiology.

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What is the Academic Foundation Program?

The academic foundation program offers the opportunity to take part in the training offered by the regular foundation program in the workplace and at the same time to gain experience in the areas of science, teaching, and leadership. The main difference is the potential to pursue a research project.

The areas of academic work that can affect a difference between primary schools. By weighing up their roles, the members of the Academic Foundation program have more responsibility for managing their own time.

It is not necessary to enter science after the Academic Foundation program, nor is it necessary to complete the Academic Foundation program to enter science. It is also not necessary to have an intercalated medical degree in order to gain access to the Academic Foundation program.

Physicians can of course search for different things at different points in their training, so the routes are flexible.

How Much Can You Earn in Academic Medicine?

Medical education is another example of where income streams are ambiguous. Insurance companies pay for the care of their insured customers, not for the training of future doctors.

It doesn’t matter whether you assume full liability for a full inpatient service, present large groups, or write a case report.

Doximity collected compensation data from more than 35,000 website members through Career Navigator, a comprehensive online resource for careers that includes physician compensation estimates and job vacancies. The members shared the data optionally and anonymously.

Based on the doximity data:

  • On average, academic doctors earn 13 percent less than their non-academic colleagues
  • The wage differentials between academic doctors and non-academic doctors vary considerably depending on the specialty. For example, academic cardiologists earn approximately 52 percent less than non-academic cardiologists and non-academic gastroenterologists’ 41 percent more than academic gastroenterologists.
  • Regardless of tenure or geographic location, academic doctors’ income is $ 250,000 and is less variable than that of non-academic doctors.

Academic Medicine – FAQs

What is clinical academic medicine?

Clinical academic medicine. Clinical academics are qualified doctors who combine working as a specialist doctor with research and teaching responsibilities. Clinical academics exist in all medical specialties from anesthetics to epidemiology, and from surgery to public health.

How do I become a clinical academic?

Grab the right opportunity. Choose an undergraduate medical degree with a research element, or join an academic foundation programme. For specialty training, seek an academic clinical fellowship or, after your PhD/DPhil, a clinical lectureship.

What is a clinical lectureship?

It is a clinical academic post usually aimed at doctors with a PhD/MD (or equivalent), who already have specialty training experience.


A career in academic medicine can be very fulfilling. However, the time spent in academic medicine at any point in a medical career can provide an opportunity to learn valuable general skills, improve clinical practice, and develop critical thinking.

These skills and experiences will be of benefit for professional development, but above all for the improvement of patient care.


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