medical schools council


Medical schools launch new tool for understanding clinical academic workforce


The Medical Schools Council today launches an interactive tool for discovering the latest data on the clinical academic workforce. This will be of significant value to funders, workforce planners employers and others in understanding how changes affect them.

Medical clinical academics work in both universities and the NHS, using their diverse expertise to lead the UK’s teaching and research agendas. Their numbers have been surveyed by the Medical Schools Council since 2000 in order to understand any shortfalls in these vital staff.

In addition to the annual analysis of these numbers issued by MSC, stakeholders can now use interactive Tableau reports on the MSC website. These contain all the data from every survey and are freely available, giving stakeholders the power to work directly with the data according to their needs.

Professor Jenny Higham, Chair of the Medical Schools Council, says:

‘With the health service under significant strain it’s essential that workforce decisions are based on evidence. MSC’s survey has for a long time made this possible for medical clinical academics. Now we look forward to partners in the health and higher education sectors making use of these data in many different ways.

‘Royal colleges can compare the recruitment and retention of clinical academics between their own specialties and others. Research funders can explore the allocation of funds across different grades, specialties and other areas.

‘MSC believes in opening up the means of analysis to all stakeholders. This tool represents the next step in medical schools’ commitment clinical academia. For a number of years we have seen a gradual decline in its numbers and this is a danger to patient care.’

‘Turning this around will involve political will, and that must be driven by data.’

MSC’s report on the latest data is also released today. It notes:

  • A decline in clinical academic staffing levels, particularly at Reader/ Senior Lecturer level
  • A decline in NHS and Other sources of funding, with lecturers funded by higher proportions of NHS funding
  • Increase in diversity, but at a slow rate
  • Increase in the proportion of women in clinical academia, but a gender imbalance continues at greater seniority
  • Increase in the percentage of men opting to work Less than Full Time

Access the interactive tool here:

Clinical academic survey

Access the new report, , here:

Survey of Medical Clinical Academic Staffing Levels 2018


Notes to editors:

  1. 1The Medical Schools Council is the representative body for UK medical schools. The council is made of the heads of UK medical schools and meets in order to shape the future of medical education in the UK. For information about the work of the Medical Schools Council, please see
  2. This is the sixteenth data update to be published by the Medical Schools Council since 2000. Thirty-four medical schools returned data on clinical academic grade, specialty, percentage full-time, Clinical Excellence Award, source of funding, age, gender, and ethnicity for each individual in post on 31 July 2017. Note that medical schools which have opened within the last twelve months, or that have been announced but not yet opened, are not included in the data collection.
  3. For more information on this press release, please contact Edward Knight, Senior Communications Officer, on 020 7419 5427, or
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Clinical academic survey

Clinical academic survey