Defining "Faculty" in Academic Medicine: Responding to the Challenges of a Changing Environment.
Acad Med. 2014 Nov 18;
Authors: Block SM, Sonnino RE, Bellini L
Academic medicine in the United States is at a crossroads. There are many drivers behind this, including health care reform, decreased federal research funding, a refined understanding of adult learning, and the emergence of disruptive innovations in medicine, science, and education. As faculty members are at the core of all academic activities, the definition of "faculty" in academic medicine must align with the expectations of institutions engaged in patient care, research, and education. Faculty members' activities have changed and continue to evolve. Academic health centers must therefore define new rules of engagement that reflect the interplay of institutional priorities with the need to attract, retain, and reward faculty members.In this Commentary, the authors describe and explore the potential effects of the changing landscape for institutions and their clinical faculty members. The authors make a case for institutions to adapt faculty appointment, evaluation, and promotion processes, and they propose a framework for a standardized definition of "faculty" that allows for individual variability. This framework also provides a means to evaluate and reward faculty members' contributions in education, research, and clinical care. The authors propose a deliberate national conversation to ensure that careers in academic medicine remain attractive and sustainable and that the future of academic medicine is secure.
PMID: 25406611 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]