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Reading tip: Ärzteblatt

The German Medical Journal dedicates its 3/2023 issue to the profession of Clinician Scientist (CS). In three articles, the importance, challenges and future prospects of CS and their programs of the same name are highlighted. Particularly pleasing: the article "Clinician Scientist: Funding at risk" was written with the help of Cologne-based expertise from Ms. von Stebut-Borschitz. Here is a brief overview, more at: 

Clinician scientists: synthesis of clinic and research

Dtsch Arztebl 2023; 120(3): A-79 / B-70

Based on the experiences of a successful medical researcher, the article provides insights into the job profile and difficulties of clinician scientists. Structured Clinician Scientist Programs (CSP) offer physicians financial and time relief. Almost every faculty in Germany now has such a program, ultimately because clinician scientists have become an indispensable part of university medicine. Unfortunately, some important aspects vary between locations, such as the recognition periods for research at the State Medical Association. Standards are also needed to standardize the job description of clinician scientists. In addition, in many cases the follow-up funding after the expiry of third-party funding is still unclear. The advantages of medical research are clearly set against the current challenges.

Clinician scientist programs: Funding in jeopardy

Dtsch Arztebl 2023; 120(3): A-85 / B-74

Medical professionals who conduct both research and patient care are vital to medical progress. Unfortunately, according to the Health Research Forum of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 2018, too few clinician scientists are still being trained. To counteract this, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has been funding several clinician scientist programs since 2015 and the BMBF has been funding 8 advanced clinician scientist programs at various university hospitals since 2020. DFG funding will expire in the next few years - a permanent implementation of the CSP at the locations is essential for future-oriented and competitive medical progress, which is why solutions for the continued funding of the CSP must be developed.

Clinician-scientist programs: Between individuality and standard

Dtsch Arztebl 2023; 120(3): A-86 / B-75

Clinician-scientist programs (CSP) have been in existence in Germany for more than 10 years now. They are a central element of university hospitals for fulfilling the three areas of research, teaching and patient care. In addition to nationwide standards, there are also major individual differences between the programs at the numerous locations.

The Institute for Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science (IMSR) took this as an opportunity to conduct a systematic review of existing clinician scientist programs in 2020 in close cooperation with the Biomedical Innovation Academy of the BIH under the aspect of "Structural implications of CSP on the biomedical research landscape". The development and establishment of CSP at selected locations were analyzed against the background of individual location-specific challenges.

According to the study, the attractiveness and acceptance of CSP is primarily generated by the recognition of research time and the retention of the collective agreement for doctors - both factors are handled very differently in many places and could be improved. In addition, a clear definition of responsibilities at the locations is of great importance.

In order to guarantee the long-term establishment of such CSPs at the various locations after the expiry of third-party funding, precise financial calculations and their agreement with the faculty management are essential.

In conclusion, the study highlights the importance of CSPs for sustainable German university medicine.


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Reading tip: Successful Cologne Clinician Scientist Ms. Howaldt shares her experience with the Cologne Clinician Scientist Program (CCSP)

Dr. Howaldt has been financially supported by the CCSP since April 2021. Now she reports in an article at Young DOG about the general background as well as her personal experiences with Clinician Scientist funding programs. Ms. Howaldt focuses in particular on the advantages of such funding and its immense importance for science.

The Cologne Clinician Scientist Program (CCSP) | SpringerLink

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