Defining the need for faculty in family medicine: results of a national survey.Fam Med. 1995 Feb; 27(2):98-102.FM
Although numerous anecdotal reports are being offered about the growing number of unfilled faculty positions in US family medicine departments, virtually no literature exists on faculty recruitment. The objective of this study was to define the scope and nature of current faculty recruitment needs in family medicine.
A national survey was sent to all family medicine department chairs and family practice residency program directors concerning faculty positions unfilled at their sites and positions for which recruitment would occur within the next 5 years. The survey asked for information on currently available positions; academic title of position; percentage of time to be devoted to clinical, educational, administrative, and research activities; primary focus of the position; date when the position became available; and the length of time the position has been unfilled. Similar information was collected on positions anticipated to be available within the next 5 years.
A total of 364 surveys were returned, for an overall response rate of 70%. Information from the survey revealed a current, substantial demand for family medicine faculty throughout the country, with an even greater demand anticipated for the near future. Respondents reported 496 currently unfilled positions for family medicine faculty and another 677 positions anticipated to be available within the next 19.5 months on average. A total of 89.7% of those anticipated positions were reported as either "certain" or "somewhat certain," in terms of likelihood of availability.
The demand for family medicine faculty is increasing, and much of the demand is financially motivated. Clinical expectations appear to be higher among departments than for residencies. Finally, it was revealed that most positions had minimal allotments for research time. Family medicine must recommit itself to the development of a scholarly agenda as it recruits new faculty.