The pipeline starts in medical school: characterizing clinician-educator training programs for U.S. medical students

Med Educ Online. 2022 Dec;27(1):2096841. doi: 10.1080/10872981.2022.2096841.


In the past forty years, clinician-educators have become indispensable to academic medicine. Numerous clinician-educator-training programs exist within graduate medical education (GME) as clinician-educator tracks (CETs). However, there is a call for the clinician-educator pipeline to begin earlier. This work aims to identify and characterize clinician-educator track-like programs (CETLs) available in undergraduate medical education (UME). We developed an algorithm of 20 individual keyword queries to search the website of each U.S. allopathic medical school for CETLs. We performed the web search between March to April 2021 and repeated the search between July and September 2021. The search identified CETLs for 79 (51%) of the 155 U.S. allopathic medical schools. The identified CETLs commonly address the clinician-educator competency of educational theory (86%, 68/79), are formally organized as concentrations or analogous structures (52%, 41/79), and span all four years of medical school (37%, 29/79). The prevalence of CETLs varies with geography and medical school ranking. We provide an overview of the current state of CETLs as assessed from institutional websites. To create a future with a sustainable output of skilled clinician-educators, UME must continue to increase the number and quality of CETLs.

Keywords: Clinician-educator; career development; medical student; scholarly concentration; undergraduate medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Faculty, Medical / education
  • Humans
  • Schools, Medical*
  • Students, Medical*

Grant support

The author(s) reported there is no funding associated with the work featured in this article.