Original Articles

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 705-710

Looking forward to promotion

Characteristics of participants in the prospective study of promotion in academia
  • Brent W. BeasleyAffiliated withReceived from the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Missouri in Kansas City-St. Luke’s Hospital Email author 
  • , Scott M. WrightAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine what clinician-educators consider important for promotion, and what support they find helpful and useful for success.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Eighty academic medical centers in the United States.

PARTICIPANTS: One hundred eighty-three participants of the Prospective Study of Promotion in Academia comprising assistant professors in departments of medicine from 80 different medical schools in 35 states.

MEASUREMENTS: Differences between clinician-educators’ and clinician-investigators’ work activities, promotion preparedness, and faculty support needs.

RESULTS: One hundred seven (58%) of the faculty were clinician-educators (CEs), and 63 (34%) were clinician-investigators (CIs); the remaining 13 fit neither category. Participants had been in their faculty position for 4.7 years. Ninety-eight percent of CIs reported a publication expectation for promotion, and 75% of CEs also reported such an expectation. More CIs had career mentors available than CEs (68% vs 32%, P<.001). Seventy-nine percent of CIs indicated >10% protected scholarly work time, compared to only 35% of CEs (P<.001). Fifty-three percent of CIs as compared to 32% of CEs (P<.01) meet more often than yearly with their chief/chair for performance review, and more CIs have been written promotion guidelines (72% vs 51%, P<.01). Clinician educators believed out of 11 job performance areas, research, written scholarship, and reputation were the 3 most important factors that would determine the success of their application for promotion. Both CEs and CIs sense that CIs are more likely get promoted (82% vs 79%).

CONCLUSIONS: Clinician educators are less familiar with promotion guidelines, meet less often with superiors for performance review, and have less protected time than CI colleagues. There is dissonance between CEs’ beliefs and previously published data from promotion committee chairs in the importance given to specific aspects of job performance.

Key words

academic medical centers mentors medical faculty cohort studies socioeconomic factors peer review