Clinician-scientist trainee: a German perspective

Clin Invest Med. 2011 Dec 1;34(6):E324. doi: 10.25011/cim.v34i6.15891.


Clinician-scientists are particularly well positioned to bring basic science findings to the patient's bedside; the ultimate objective of basic research in the health sciences. Concerns have recently been raised about the decreasing workforce of clinician-scientists in both the United States of America and in Canada; however, little is known about clinician-scientists elsewhere around the globe. The purpose of this article is two-fold: 1) to feature clinician-scientist training in Germany; and 2) to provide a comparison with the Canadian system. In a question/answer interview, Rory E. Morty, director of a leading clinician-scientist training program in Germany, and Katrin Milger, a physician and graduate from that program, draw a picture of clinician-scientist training and career opportunities in Germany, outlining the place of clinician-scientists in the German medical system, the advantages and drawbacks of this training, and government initiatives to promote training and career development of clinician-scientists. The interview is followed by a discussion comparing the German and Canadian clinician-scientist development programs, focusing on barriers to trainee recruitment and career progress, and efforts to eliminate the barriers encountered along this very demanding but also very rewarding career path.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / education*
  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration
  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Education, Medical, Graduate*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Program Development*