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Every doctor a scientist and a scholar

What makes doctors special is not simply clinical skills, but their professionalism which is underpinned by research and teaching. It is these wider attributes that justify the esteem in which doctors are held, and the value placed on their work. 

"Every practising doctor should want to maintain up-to-date knowledge relevant to delivering care in their specialty."

Behind this document lies a simple premise: doctors want all their patients to be provided with excellent standards of care. 

Contributing to achieving such standards are personal and institutional characteristics, including the need for every doctor to have a clear understanding of scientific methods; principles and techniques as well as other important traits, such as clinical skills, leadership, decision making and communication skills. 

It is important that undergraduate and postgraduate education equip the doctor not only with clinical skills but the scientific skills to enable lifelong learning and enquiry.


About the paper

The 'Every doctor a scientist and a scholar' paper puts forward a case that every doctor needs to be engaged as a scholar and scientist. 

For this to be realised, it is expected the following principles should be endorsed and embraced by all stakeholders:

  • Clinically led services must be informed by the best available evidence especially through the commission process.
  • Understanding and weighing evidence should be an essential component of education, training and continuing professional development for all doctors.
  • Every career structure for doctors should include ongoing education in and exposure to research as integral components.
  • The NHS should develop an ethos where research is part of the ‘DNA’ of the service. This means valuing, supporting, rewarding and celebrating scientific endeavour.

The paper addresses

  1. Scientific skills and academic knowledge 
  2. Training
  3. Practice
  4. Appraisal and re-validation
  5. The present and the future

It is proposed that every doctor should aspire to continue to develop scientific skills and academic knowledge in tandem with clinical practice throughout their career. In doing so, they will enhance their skills and ensure the delivery of optimum care and continued innovation.

'Every doctor a scientist and scholar' has been produced by MASC in discussion with various chairs of the academic committees of the medical Royal Colleges, as well as with the devolved nations' MASCs.



Every doctor a scientist and a scholar (PDF)