Purpose: To assess equity in compensation and academic advancement in an academic pediatrics department in which a large proportion of the physician faculty hold part-time appointments.
Method: The authors analyzed anonymized data from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics databases for physician faculty (faculty with MD or MD/PhD degrees) employed during July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. The primary outcomes were total compensation and years at assistant professor rank. They compared compensation and years at junior rank by part-time versus full-time status, controlling for gender, rank, track, years since first appointment as an assistant professor, and clinical productivity.
Results: Of the 119 physician faculty in the department, 112 met inclusion criteria. Among those 112 faculty, 23 (21%) were part-time and 89 (79%) were full-time faculty. Part-time faculty were more likely than full-time faculty to be women (74% versus 28%, P < .001) and married (100% versus 84%, P = .042). Analyses accounting for gender, years since first appointment, rank, clinical productivity, and track did not demonstrate significant differences in compensation by part-time versus full-time status. In other adjusted analyses, faculty with part-time appointments spent an average of 2.48 more years as an assistant professor than did faculty with full-time appointments.
Conclusions: Overall group differences in total compensation were not apparent in this department, but physician faculty with part-time appointments spent more time at the rank of assistant professor. This study provides a model for determining and analyzing compensation and effort to ensure equity and transparency across faculty.