Promoties in de geneeskunde

Translated title of the contribution: The Dutch PhD-factory: pivotal or research waste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


This commentary discusses the increase of the number of finished PhD-theses in the Netherlands among young medical doctors. I discuss their motivation, engagement, the lack of mentoring and the mental health symptoms that are highly prevalent among Dutch PhD students in university medical centers. As a consequence, the abovementioned factors may have a detrimental impact on the validity and integrity of research results. Furthermore, I discuss how the current academic hierarchy is shaping academic careers and dictating publication practices. PhD students are pivotal in fulfilling academic dreams of seniors by writing a considerable number of publications that help senior researchers increase their scientific output, advance their careers and help them to get tenured. I suggest that we should invest in sufficient, effective and responsible supervision and mentoring and should train our supervisors to become a responsible role model for their PhD students. For this we need different performance indicators, and more time and skills for seniors to invest in PhD students. As a result, supervisors will become more equipped and engaged in responsible supervision.
Translated title of the contributionThe Dutch PhD-factory: pivotal or research waste
Original languageDutch
Article numberD5490
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2020

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