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Clinician–Educator Tracks for Trainees in Graduate Medical Education: A Scoping Review

Friedman, Karen MD, MS; Lester, Janice MLS; Young, John Q. MD, MPP, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002814

Purpose Clinician–educator tracks (CETs) appear to be increasing in prevalence in graduate medical education (GME) and may play an important role in medical education workforce development. The authors conducted a scoping review to characterize the current state of knowledge about CETs’ structure, content, and outcomes.

Method Six databases were searched in January 2018 for English-language peer-reviewed articles published through 2017 to identify articles describing CETs in GME. To be included, the CET had to target GME learners (residents/fellows), be longitudinal, have the primary aim of developing trainees into clinician–educators (CEs), and address at least one CE core competency (direct teaching, curriculum development, mentorship/advising, leadership, assessment, educational scholarship). The authors extracted and analyzed data from included articles.

Results Of 1,434 articles identified, 19 were included in the review, representing 18 separate CETs. All but 2 CETs (11%) were specialty-specific. Most included a core curriculum with classroom-based sessions (18; 100%), workplace-based opportunities to practice skills (17; 94%), and a required scholarly project (16; 89%). Seventeen (94%) focused on skills related to direct teaching. Four (22%) identified mentoring/advising as a core curriculum focus. Five (28%) required project dissemination. Time spent in CETs varied widely (median: 166 hours; range: 8 hours/4-month period to 1,288 hours/2-year period). The most common reported outcomes were learner reactions (7; 39%) and career tracking (11; 61%).

Conclusions This review yields a composite picture of the current state of CETs in GME. The results highlight the paucity of outcomes data and areas for potential standardization and future research.

K. Friedman is associate professor of medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, New York.

J. Lester is reference and education librarian, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, New York.

J.Q. Young is professor of psychiatry, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, New York.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: This research was determined not to require institutional review board approval by the human subjects research determination form at Northwell Health.

Correspondence should be addressed to Karen Friedman, Department of Medicine, North Shore University Hospital, 300 Community Dr., Manhasset, NY 11030; telephone: (516) 562-4764; email:

Copyright © 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges