The physician-scientists: rare species in Africa
Adefuye, Anthonio Oladele
Adeola, Henry Ademola
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There is paucity of physician-scientists in Africa, resulting in overt dependence of clinical practice on research findings from advanced "first world" countries. Physician-scientists include individuals with a medical degree alone or combined with other advanced degrees (e.g. MD/MBChB and PhD) with a career path in biomedical/ translational and patient-oriented/evaluative science research. The paucity of clinically trained research scientists in Africa could result in dire consequences as exemplified in the recent Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, where shortage of skilled clinical scientists, played a major role in disease progression and mortality. Here we contextualise the role of physician-scientist in health care management, highlight factors limiting the training of physician-scientist in Africa and proffer implementable recommendations to address these factors.