Junior faculty satisfaction in a large academic radiology department.Acad Radiol. 2007 Apr; 14(4):445-54.AR
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES
Retention of academic faculty is a pressing issue for many radiology departments. The departure of junior faculty members to private practice may be driven in part by economics; however, the choice may be influenced by many other elements of faculty satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how satisfied junior (assistant professors and instructors) and senior (associate professors and professors) faculty in an academic radiology department are with respect to their work and to determine which factors most affected the decision to stay in academics.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We conducted a survey of junior and senior faculty in the department of radiology. Questions included attitudes regarding work, home, and family issues. Among the 27 junior faculty (73%) who responded to the survey, 14 were instructors and 13 were assistant professors. Among the 11 senior faculty (21%) who responded to the survey, 3 were associate professors and 8 were professors.
Academic radiology faculty are very happy with work and derive enjoyment and fulfillment from their work. The working week excluding call (average 52 hours) and including call (average 61 hours) was not regarded as too long. The average academic faculty works 72% clinical time (range 15% to 100%) and gets 0.96 day a week of professional development. Fifty-nine percent are funded at an average of 0.91 day a week. Forty-one percent are on tenure track, and of the remainder, 40% expressed a desire for tenure track. Fifty-five percent of faculty have mentors and 57% receive adequate mentoring. When it comes to teaching, 50% have enough time to teach juniors. Of the remainder, all but one cited high clinical workload as an impediment to teaching juniors. Forty-one percent of faculty reported not getting enough academic time. Fifty-nine percent felt pressure to publish and 34% felt pressure to obtain external funding. Seventy-six percent surveyed felt it has become more difficult to publish. The main reasons cited were increasing clinical workload (34%), higher standards required (25%), lack of academic time (25%), and institutional review board constraints (16%). Twenty-eight percent of faculty work on research projects during weekends, 25% during professional development time, and 21% on weekday evenings. However, 63% said they had too little time to spend at home, with family, or on hobbies. The main reasons cited were demands on time caused by clinical work (45%), research (42%), and teaching (24%). Fifty-three percent said that their work regularly causes conflicts at home.
The main reasons to stay in academics were the opportunity for teaching (68%), working with expert colleagues (58%), to pursue research (55%), and an interesting mix of cases (47%). Disincentives to stay in academics included insufficient financial remuneration (82%), the high clinical workload (45%), academic center "politics," and the lack of academic time (42%).