A promotion ladder for teachers at Harvard Medical School: experience and challenges.Acad Med. 1995 Dec; 70(12):1079-86.AM
The authors describe the development, implementation, and institutionalization at Harvard Medical School of a promotion ladder that recognizes the teaching and scholarly contributions of full-time clinical faculty. They also discuss the challenges that arose during this process, for example, how to make the new track creditable and attractive to both the appointed faculty and the faculty at large. The criteria developed for promotion focus on a candidate's skills and accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, clinical work, and departmental service. The authors present the elements of these criteria for the three professional levels of the ladder and outline the appointment process, including the steps for consideration of a given promotion. The development of this teacher-clinician ladder has had a positive influence on faculty who are committed to teaching by allowing recognition of their contributions in a track held to be the equal of the other full-time tracks in a medical faculty traditionally committed to research and patient care. Data are given for the 70 faculty who were promoted over the five years from 1989 to 1994. The true success of this promotion ladder will be measured only over time through its impact on the educational enterprise within the medical school and its hospitals, and its capacity to both successfully advance the careers of qualified medical educators and further the development of the field of medical education.