Can anyone explain how tenure works in academic medicine? Is it true that only those who do basic science research and have their own labs will be on the tenure track? I'd always assumed that the well-respected guys/gals who've been around for years and do plenty of good clinical research, have lots of publications, etc. were tenured, but I've been told otherwise. How much does tenure really matter, anyway?
12-31-2002, 01:46 PM
Tenure depends on the rules of each institution. You generally get this information when you apply for a position. Usually the rules for getting tenure or what happens if you don't get tenure are explicitly spelled out. These things can be pretty variable so you need to check them out before you apply.
In today's climate, I believe that tenure is less of an issue than salary and a good patient base. Filling a well-endowed faculty position is also a nice thing to have. Some institutions have scrapped the tenure-tracks altogether because it can be a double-edged sword for them. On one hand, you want to reward productive folks and give them some job security but on the other hand, you can end up with folks who stop producing and still command huge salaries. Again, do some homework when you send out those applications.
At my institution basic science is absolutely not required for tenure. Clinical research is what is expected.
01-07-2003, 08:08 PM
many different tracks available nowadays.
you can choose clinican educator, clinician scientist, basic scientist, clinical researcher.
if you are doing clinical medicine, you don't need tenure. tenure is for true academics-like phd's who need protection. you can always make money by seeing patients.
if you want to be a basic scientist, you need to compete with phd's for grants who are working full time in labs while you still have clinical and educational responsibilities.