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Retention of Junior Faculty in Academic Medicine at the University of California, San Diego

Ries, Andrew MD, MPH; Wingard, Deborah PhD; Morgan, Cindy MS; Farrell, Elizabeth; Letter, Sharon MS; Reznik, Vivian MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181901174
Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Cost

Purpose To measure overall retention of junior faculty and evaluate the effects of a junior faculty development program on the retention of junior faculty at one institution.

Method Quantitative survival analysis techniques were used to characterize retention of all new assistant professors hired at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine for 18 years between July 1988 and December 2005, and the influence on retention of a junior faculty development program established in 1998. Data available included initial hire date, gender, ethnicity, participation in the faculty development program, and date of separation from UCSD. Actuarial Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to characterize retention and the influence of covariates up to the end of the probationary period, eight years after initial hire date.

Results For the 839 new assistant professors, participation in the faculty development program and being hired after July 1997 had significant effects on retention. After adjusting for hire date, gender, and ethnicity, faculty participating in the faculty development program were 67% more likely to remain at UCSD at the end of their probationary period compared with nonparticipating faculty.

Conclusions Faculty development programs for junior faculty in academic medicine can have positive effects on faculty retention and may facilitate success in academic medicine.

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

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

Ms. Morgan is a staff research associate, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California.

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

Ms. Letter is assistant dean for academic affairs, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California.

Dr. Reznik is associate dean for faculty affairs and professor of pediatrics and family and preventive medicine, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California.

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

© 2009 Association of American Medical Colleges