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Measuring Faculty Retention and Success in Academic Medicine

Ries, Andrew MD, MPH; Wingard, Deborah PhD; Gamst, Anthony PhD; Larsen, Catherine MPH; Farrell, Elizabeth; Reznik, Vivian MD, MPH

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31825d0d31
Faculty Issues
Abstract

Purpose: To develop and demonstrate the usefulness of quantitative methods for assessing retention and academic success of junior faculty in academic medicine.

Method: The authors created matched sets of participants and nonparticipants in a junior faculty development program based on hire date and academic series for newly hired assistant professors at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine between 1988 and 2005. They used Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards survival analyses to characterize the influence of covariates, including gender, ethnicity, and program participation, on retention. They also developed a new method for quantifying academic success based on several measures including (1) leadership and professional activities, (2) honors and awards, (3) research grants, (4) teaching and mentoring/advising activities, and (5) publications. The authors then used these measures to compare matched pairs of participating and nonparticipating faculty who were subsequently promoted and remained at UCSD.

Results: Compared with matched nonparticipants, the retention of junior faculty who participated in the faculty development program was significantly higher. Among those who were promoted and remained at UCSD, the academic success of faculty development participants was consistently greater than that of matched nonparticipants. This difference reached statistical significance for leadership and professional activities.

Conclusions: Using better quantitative methods for evaluating retention and academic success will improve understanding and research in these areas. In this study, use of such methods indicated that organized junior faculty development programs have positive effects on faculty retention and may facilitate success in academic medicine.

Author Information

Dr. Ries is associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of medicine and family and preventive medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Dr. Wingard is professor of family and preventive medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Dr. Gamst is associate professor of family and preventive medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Ms. Larsen is staff research associate, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Ms. Farrell is program coordinator, National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine, Office of Faculty Affairs, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Dr. Reznik is assistant vice chancellor for faculty affairs and professor of pediatrics and family and preventive medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Ries, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093-0602; telephone: (858) 534-4877; fax: (858) 534-0338; e-mail: aries@ucsd.edu.

© 2012 Association of American Medical Colleges