What is the job of an Academic Physician?

Academic Physician


An Academic Physician, as the name implies is a Physician who is also an Academician. He or she practices medicine in two broad fields; clinically and academically. In other words, an Academic Physician works in a hospital and colleges or universities. They train upcoming physicians while also rendering diagnostic services.

Physicians are Medical professionals who offer premium care for patients. They do this primarily by diagnosing disease conditions and prescribing treatment. They are also known as Medical Doctors. 

Academic Physicians say this career as fulfilling as it offers more flexibility for those who engage in it. Training residents, teaching students, and consulting patients is quite an interesting experience.

In the Words of Doctor Mohr, “Every time you impact a resident or student, you impact every patient they’re going to come into contact with over their career”.

It is a choice medics take because of their passion, not because of the pay. In most settings, a full-time Clinical Doctor earns more than an Academic Physician. The academic practice offers more research opportunities. A mere clinical physician may not have the time to research, but lecturers will give updated lectures to students. Since research is compulsory for those in academia, it will be a part of their routine.

They don’t just teach upcoming doctors but also other students under the faculty of medical sciences. Lecturing is done in various fields of medicine and to students in various academic years. Also, it depends on the aspect they choose to focus on. A medical doctor can become a gynecologist and eventually dive into academia. In this case, he or she can choose to focus or lecture on only Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Responsibilities of an Academic Physician

The duties of an Academic Physician revolve around the student and the hospital. Some of them are as follows:

  • Introducing students to the field of medicine and medical practice.
  • Training undergraduates rigorously on every level.
  • Preparing students for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
  • Administering written exams and orals to students.
  • Leading students on clinical postings and rotations.
  • Correcting student doctors when they make mistakes.
  • Training residents to become consultants.
  • Preparing residents for professional exams.
  • Administering and supervising residents during professional exams.
  • Consulting patients.
  • Diagnosing disease conditions.
  • Prescribing relevant tests to help with diagnosis.
  • Prescribing drugs and lifestyle modifications to help patients get treated.
  • Documentation of every patient-specific case.
  • Working together with other health care professionals to provide the best care for patients.
  • Following up on patients to ensure optimum treatment.

Qualifications for practice as an Academic Physician

Academic physician

To practice as an Academic Physician in the US, the following are necessary:

  • Bachelor’s degree or a certification from pre-medicine school. 
  • A Medical degree.
  • A one-year compulsory medical internship training or house job.
  • The residency program of four to eight years, depending on the department.
  • Board certificates.
  • State licensure.
  • Application for practice.

Some skills are also very necessary to be able to cope and be fulfilled in the profession. They include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Good documentation skills.
  • Patience.
  • Empathy.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Computer skills.
  • Team spirit.
  • Passion for the job.
  • Passion for research.

Work Environment

Academic Physicians typically work full time. They may be on call on weekends and public holidays. Their job is usually divided between hospital practice and academic practice. For this reason, they do not work full-time in the hospital.

In colleges and universities, they work in offices with computer systems and in classrooms, lecturing students. They also take undergraduates and residents on training in the hospital.


A career as an Academic Physician is very lucrative. Even though in most cases, it doesn’t pay like a full-time Physician, it surely is fulfilling. The salary is dependent on the work schedule and definitely on the facility and institution the physician works. It also depends on the level of education and experience.

In the United States, the average salary per annum ranges between $194,539 and $382,026.


Helping people gain knowledge in your field is quite interesting. Academic Physicians are an admirable set of professionals. They help patients feel better and even get back to their original state of good health. They also impart upcoming Physicians with the knowledge they need. A career in this field is a great one. Though it requires a lot of discipline, it is very fulfilling. For someone with a passion for both teaching and medicine, this will be a great choice.

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