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The employers' perspective on how PhD training affects physicians' performance in the clinic

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

INTRODUCTION: An increase in the number of MD-PhDs has sparked debate as to how physicians with PhD research training contribute in the clinic. This study focuses on the development and employment situation of MD-PhDs from Aarhus University, Denmark, and on the impact of MD-PhDs in the clinic as seen from the employers' perspective.

METHODS: The study is based on a mixed methods approach using both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data hail from existing statistical data and reports, while the qualitative data stem from semi-structured interviews with six executive consultants and 36 members of appointment committees, mainly from hospitals in the Central Denmark Region.

RESULTS: Quantitative data reveal an increase in the number of MD-PhDs concluding their training at Aarhus University. The MD-PhDs are employed in the public sector and, overall, their skills match the employers' demands. Qualitative data show that employers were satisfied with the skills the MD-PhDs brought to the clinic, particularly in terms of their ability to assess and use new and relevant information and to instigate a more scientific approach in the clinic. Informants from remote hospitals expressed a demand for more MD-PhDs, while other informants were concerned about how some MD-PhDs stopped doing medical research in the clinic after completing their PhD.

CONCLUSION: Overall, employers seem satisfied with the skills that MD-PhDs bring to the clinic. However, some voice concern that too much importance is attached to the PhD degree and that some MD-PhDs are not active doing research.

FUNDING: The study was funded by the Graduate School of Health (Aarhus University) and The Central Denmark Region.


TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2017

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