The value of structured development processes has been recognized and implemented in formal physician training programs such as residencies and fellowships. Physicians are seemingly viewed as a “finished product” upon completing formal training. In recent years, a number of academic medical centers have implemented formalized early-career development programs for physicians, largely those who have a major research focus. However, beyond the early stage of physicians’ careers, formalized and intentional physician career development programs are rare. The lack of a philosophy of intentional, career-long individual development at academic medical centers reflects a narrow understanding of the implicit contract between employers and employees. The resulting gap leads the vast majority of physicians to fall short of their potential, further leading to long-term loss for the academic medical centers, their physicians, and society as a whole. Based on the framework of analyze-design-develop-implement-evaluate, the authors propose a robust, iterative model for physician career development that goes beyond skills and knowledge maintenance, toward leveraging a broad range of individual capabilities, needs, and contexts along the career lifespan. The model provides a means for harnessing physicians’ strengths and passions in concert with the needs of their organization to create greater physician fulfillment and success, which in turn would benefit the patients they care for and the academic medical centers in which they work.