Faculty members' educational endeavors have generally not received adequate recognition. The Association for Surgical Education in 1993 established a task force to determine the magnitude of this problem and to create a model to address the challenges and opportunities identified. To obtain baseline information, the task force reviewed information from national sources and the literature on recognizing and rewarding faculty members for educational accomplishments. The group also developed and mailed to surgery departments at all U.S. and Canadian medical schools a questionnaire asking about the educational endeavors of the surgery faculty and their recognition for such activities. The response rate after two mailings was only 56%, but the responses reaffirmed the inadequacy of systems for rewarding and recognizing surgeon-teachers and surgeon-educators, and confirmed that the distinction between the roles of teacher and educator was rarely made. The task force created a four-tier hierarchical model based on the designations teacher, master teacher, educator, and master educator as a framework to offer appropriate recognition and rewards to the faculty, and endorsed a broad definition of educational scholarship. Criteria for various levels of achievement, ways to demonstrate and document educational contributions, appropriate support and recognition, and suggested faculty ranks were defined for these levels. The task force recommended that each surgery department have within its faculty ranks a cadre of trained teachers, a few master teachers, and at least one educator. Departments with a major commitment to education should consider supporting a master educator to serve as a resource not only for the department but also for the department's medical school and other medical schools. Although this model was created for surgery departments, it is generalizable to other disciplines.
(C) 1999 Association of American Medical Colleges