Academic promotion has traditionally been based on research and teaching, but faculty members’ contributions to the profession may not be fully captured in those dimensions. Faculty members may influence the practice of medicine and improve the care of patients yet not obtain traditional measures of achievement through publications, grants, or teaching awards. With this problem in mind, at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, the promotions committee developed and implemented a promotions criterion called Creative Professional Activity (CPA) to recognize and reward a variety of types of academic endeavors that have a demonstrable impact on medical practice and care. CPA comprises three activities: professional innovation, exemplary practice, and contributions to the development of the discipline.
In this article, the authors define CPA, provide illustrative case examples, describe how faculty members document CPA, and report the use of this promotions criterion in the Department of Medicine over the last decade. The challenges of implementing CPA as a promotion criterion are described. CPA is consistent with the Department of Medicine’s goal of achieving excellence through original research, education, or creative work that advances the care of patients.
Dr. Levinson is professor and chair of medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Rothman is professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Phillipson is professor and past chair, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Levinson, University of Toronto, R. Fraser Elliott Building, 190 Elizabeth St., Third Floor, Room 3-805, Toronto ON, Canada M5G 2C4.