PURPOSE: Although the benefits of clinician researchers for health services are now more clearly recognised, their career development is not well understood. Hence, the purpose of this paper, a scoping review, is to determine what has been discussed in the literature about career opportunities for allied health (AH) clinician researchers in health services.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A structured literature search was completed in December 2020 for literature published 2010-2020 in English. A total of 2,171 unique abstracts were found and screened by two reviewers and 206 articles progressed to full text screening.
FINDINGS: Forty-six studies were ultimately included; however, only two of these had aims directly related to AH clinician researcher careers, with the remainder containing only incidental data on this topic. Over half (56.5%) of the included studies were conducted in Australia, with a variety of AH professions represented. In terms of research design, 52.2% used cross-sectional survey designs, while case studies and qualitative research designs were also common. Key observations were that varying terminology and definitions were used, and there was little information about the inclusion of research in clinical positions or opportunities for formal clinical researcher positions in health services. There was some evidence to support that there are limited career opportunities after PhD completion, and that current career pathways are insufficient. There was conflicting evidence on whether engagement in research is beneficial for clinical career progression.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This review highlights a lack of research on this topic and outlines future directions to better support career pathways for AH clinician researchers.