This is an interesting and difficult one, and depends on the ego of the supervisor. Theoretically, the order should be in terms of who has contributed the most, meaning that the vast majority of papers arising from PhDs should have the student as first author.
However this is not always the case - I know of several friends who have bemoaned the fact that their supervisor always comes first, in spite having done very little. I personally have always been lucky, my supervisors actually said that I should just put my own name on if they hadn't done anything (maybe they didn't want to be associated with my terrible writing! :lol:)
In the case of medical papers, you can get a list of authors that looks like a football team list! On closer probing, some names are there because they may have provided access to a clinic to get participants or something. While this doesn't really constitute authorship, I have sometimes been diplomatic and added clinicians as authors as a matter of keeping the peace if they've been difficult in the past - they just have to be lower down the list!
First author should really be the person who has done the most to producing the paper (i.e. project planning, execution and writing the paper). Last (in medicine anyway) is generally head of group. In between, it's a bit of a free-for-all but more work should equal closer to the top. When there are lots of authors, sometimes they are listed alphabetically.
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