For faculty to achieve promotion and tenure, a clear understanding is needed of the measures by which performance will be judged. This study describes the specific academic achievements of successful candidates for tenure and promotion to associate professor in family medicine.
A survey questionnaire was mailed to all members listed in the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine database as holding the rank of associate professor. The questionnaire sought information about items as they were at the time the individual was being considered for promotion to associate professor with tenure. The items included scholarly accomplishments, time for research, areas of scholarly expertise, and departmental policy regarding promotion and tenure.
Of the 296 eligible faculty, 197 (67%) returned a completed survey. The mean number of publications of these successfully promoted individuals was 10. The respondents averaged 78% of their publications in peer-reviewed journals and were first author on 64% of their peer-reviewed articles. The mean number of peer-reviewed publications per year was 1.5. Research grant support as principal or coinvestigator was reported by 44%, and respondents averaged 9 hours a week on scholarly activities. Scholarly activity was found to vary significantly by type of school, degree, and tenure track status.
Information reported here can be of value for prospective promotion and tenure candidates, their advisors, and members of review committees.