Aims: Academic medicine is a career route that historically struggles to recruit and retain suitable doctors. The aim of this paper is to review the evidence for interventions to encourage careers in academic medicine by way of a descriptive systematic review.
Methods: Key databases were searched in February 2017. Studies that evaluated interventions to encourage careers in academic medicine and that used a pre-post analysis or included a comparison group were included. Interventions reporting only learner satisfaction were excluded. The review was specific to medical students and graduates.
Results: Twenty-four studies were identified for inclusion within the review. The included studies identified interventions across five domains: postgraduate funding, postgraduate training, mentoring, undergraduate interventions, and institutional change. The papers varied in terms of strength of conclusion and method of analysis with broad, structured, well-funded programs having the most palpable results.
Conclusions: The five domains identified offer a framework that can be used by institutions who wish to develop similar programs. It also offers a body of research on which an evidence base can be built.