Pediatric Faculty Members Attitudes about Part-Time Faculty Positions and Policies to Support Part-Time Faculty: A Study at One Medical Center

Kahn, Jessica A. MD, MPH; Degen, Sandra J. F. PhD; Mansour, Mona E. MD; Goodman, Elizabeth MD; Zeller, Meg H. PhD; Laor, Tal MD; Lanphear, Nancy E. MD; Boat, Thomas F. MD

Academic Medicine:
Research Report
Abstract

Purpose: To examine pediatric faculty members’ attitudes about part-time faculty positions and policies to support part-time faculty.

Method: In 2001, an anonymous 26-item questionnaire assessing attitudes about part-time faculty was mailed to all 441 faculty members of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Multivariable analyses were used to determine faculty characteristics associated with specific attitudes, and qualitative methods were used to analyze responses to an open-ended item assessing beliefs about facilitating part-time careers.

Results: Three hundred (68%) faculty members completed questionnaires. Twenty-nine (10%) worked part-time and an additional 88 (33%) had considered part-time work, primarily because of dependent children. Although 177 (59%) believed that part-time faculty were perceived as being less committed to their careers and the institution, 207 (69%) believed part-time faculty should be eligible for all academic tracks and 219 (73%) that they should be allowed extension of time to obtain tenure. Most reported that policy changes to support part-time faculty would enhance diversity (N = 234, 78%) and improve recruitment, retention, and promotion of female faculty. Multivariable analysis demonstrated that women and respondents with dependent children were more likely to be concerned about perceived commitment and more likely to endorse policies to support part-time faculty. Participants suggested that part-time careers for faculty would be facilitated by clarifying productivity expectations, expanding resources, and modifying existing policies.

Conclusions: Although women and respondents with dependent children were concerned about perceived commitment of part-time faculty and were most supportive of policies that would support part-time faculty, pediatric faculty generally supported such policies.

Author Information

Dr. Kahn is associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Degen is professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Mansour is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Goodman is professor, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Dr. Zeller is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Laor is associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Lanphear is associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Boat is professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Please see the end of this report for information about the authors.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Kahn, Division of Adolescent Medicine, MLC 4000, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229; telephone: (513) 636-8587; fax: (513) 636-8844; e-mail: (jessica.kahn@cchmc.org).

© 2005 Association of American Medical Colleges