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Teaching at a med school but not doing research?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Poit, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Poit

    5+ Year Member

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    I really enjoy teaching (was a high school teacher for 2 years) and I have played with the prospect of instructing at a med school in the future (either clinical or didactic). However, it seems that professors at med schools still have to abide by the "publish or perish" mantra. I'm not big into research, and I would prefer to simply spend my time instructing. Is it possible to be a prof at a med school without engaging in research?
     
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  3. ciruji

    ciruji SURGERY
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    in Seattle Grace Hospital this happens
     
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  4. WedgeDawg

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    As far as I am aware, it is possible, but keep in mind I haven't started med school yet, so more experienced users may give you a better idea. Additionally, my information comes from a single institution (albeit an extremely research-heavy one).

    At this school, there are 4 tenure tracks for physicians. I don't remember exactly what each of them are, but I know that at least one of them (possibly two) is/are "teaching track". These professors don't carry out biomedical research on their own and their duties are limited to being clinicians and teaching students/residents. However, they are responsible for ensuring that the medical education for 3rd/4th year students is as good as it can be, and they are voted (or however you get tenure) into tenured positions based on the quality of their teaching, how long they've been teaching, how they've contributed to improving the medical education at this institution and, relatedly, how they have brought innovation into the educational environment.

    Again, take this with a grain of salt because this is only at one institution and I may not be aware of some details, but my understanding is that teaching without research is possible at academic institutions.
     
  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    Academic physicians are expected to distinguish themselves in at least two of the three pillars: excellence in teaching, clinical service and/or research.
     
    #4 gyngyn, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  6. Goro

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    Generally the same at my school, but our clinical faculty still need to publish SOMETHING in order to get promoted. Even case reports will work.



     
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  7. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    Here too.
     
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  8. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    I should amend my characterization. Academic physicians must show competency in each of the three pillars and distinguish themselves in two.
     
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  9. Goro

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    100% the same at my school!

     
  10. calisurfer19

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    I'm in a similar boat as the OP (I'm a medical readiness instructor for the CC of the AF), but was looking for anyone who has some insight in regards to how much time I would have to still see patients. I would imagine it varies by location, so even a ballpark estimate would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
     
  11. Lawper

    Lawper In 3D
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    Correct me if i'm mistaken but wasn't there a fourth pillar as well? I think it was leadership as @LizzyM pointed out in an older thread, but i feel leadership is just a combination of the other three pillars in academia.

    @IlDestriero i believe does teaching-only academic medicine but he also pointed out such options are rather uncommon.
     
  12. Goro

    Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    Not for rank promotion. Leadership like being a committee or dep't chair, an editor, or a symposium organizer is typically folded into "service".



     
  13. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Some people, particularly pediatricians, include advocacy as a 4th pillar but I'm not sure how it factors in to promotions (tenure is almost never on the table for physicians at my institution).
     
  14. Goro

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    I've never heard of that! We'd just fold it into "service".

     
  15. gonnif

    gonnif Only 770 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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    It also depends on what kind of teaching you want to do. Assistant Clinical Faculty appear to be just that. Associated with the school as practicing physicians on the floors, wards, or clinic purely in a clinical instructional role
     
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  16. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man
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    Here's something I wrote for another thread about academic tracks.

    Many medical schools, including all that I looked at for a job, and the two where I have been on the faculty, offered three distinct academic pathways. They are separate and have different promotion requirements. What they are called may differ from university to university.
    1. Tenure- Essentially a serious researcher who does limited clinical work as well. Usually 75% or more protected non clinical time. These guys earn their clinical time off by paying their salaries with grants, etc. Grant support and significant academic productivity is required for retention and promotion. An MD PhD would be useful for this track. Research has shown that academic career success in this track is significantly higher at >80% protected time, which makes sense.
    2. The academic-clinicians, primarily clinical people who have 20-50% protected nonclinical time to engage in research. ~50% of our faculty are on this path. The department/hospital supports their time off, some have small grants, a couple are significant, and some are quite successful convincing manufacturers to donate their equipment, etc. for their projects. Some get money (time) from the university or hospital to devote significant time to important committees or projects, patient safety, quality improvement, etc. Research is required for promotion and Up or Out applies, though much less than for the tenure track.
    3. The clinical-educator path. This represents a growing percentage of the appointments at the medical school. They teach residents and fellows and others rotating through the department, not usually lecturing to the medical students though. Promotion requires zero research commitment/productivity. Though many, myself included, have lectured at meetings, written chapters in textbooks, participated in clinical research, mentored fellows chart reviews, case reports, etc. The purpose of this track is to generate outstanding clinicians and superior educators for the residents and fellows. The other benefit is to have more people on the ground every day getting the clinical work done in the trenches. It also unloads some administrative burden off the research faculty. We've had the non research track for more than a decade. By report the university is very happy with it's success and the number of appointments into this track is increasing. The medical school has 3 goals. Excellence in research, education, and clinical work. The non research path recognizes that one can excel in the area of resident education and be clinically outstanding, without being a research leader. Clearly an asset to a demanding academic department. I do know that some other departments at the university do not have many/any non research track faculty. The individual department chairs have to decide what they want from their faculty, and mine places a very high value on trainee education and the reputation of it's graduates as well as clinical excellence and hires a significant amount of non research faculty. Promotion requires evidence of clinical excellence as well as higher teaching scores than the other tracks. Up or out does not apply. (here)
    The reason I am in academic medicine is that I have a desire to participate in resident and fellow education, and I'm good at it. Also, I thrive on the constant supply of interesting and challenging cases available at a world class academic referral center. As an anesthesiologist, it's also fascinating to participate in cutting edge techniques that few facilities/surgeons in the world offer.
    Anesthesia is a bit unique as it requires a lot of boots on the ground every day. You don't just have one call and back up person covering an entire service for a week at a time while all the other faculty have 1-2 clinic days and 3-4 research days, you need 20+ faculty every day, working the whole time. If everyone had a tenure track or 50% protected non clinical time we would have a lot of problems with the clinical load and we would make a lot less money because we would have to hire so many more faculty.
     
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  17. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man
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    There are also adjunct faculty that are affiliated with the university, but not paid faculty. I don't know anything about them or how common they are at medical schools.
    As for teaching classes in the medical school, that requires a huge amount of time that you may not be granted by your department. You're more likely to be able to be a guest lecturer on a specialty specific topic or two, a clinical mentor, small group facilitator, etc. That is a much more realistic goal for a clinical faculty member.
     
  18. calisurfer19

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    Thank you for your thorough responses and insight into the varying academic pathways. The clinical-educator path, along with the freedom (but not the requirement) to participate in research opportunities you have outlined, is precisely the role in which I wish to serve as an attending physician. I appreciate your time and I'm going to look for that academic track thread you mentioned so I don't ask for further details that you've previously discussed; but if in the future I have questions, would it be alright if I PM'd you? Thank you again.
     
  19. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man
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