Promotion Preparation Tips for Academic Family Medicine Educators

Document Type


Publication Date



Medical Education

Journal Title

Family medicine

MeSH Headings

Mentors, Fellowships and Scholarships, Family Practice, Grounded Theory, Physicians, Family, Students, Medical Documentation, Salaries and Fringe Benefits, Tocopherols


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Promotion has historically valued the scholarship of discovery over the scholarship of teaching. The clinician-educator promotion pathway is an attractive option for academic family physicians engaged in significant teaching. However, clinician-educators are less often promoted than peers on other tracks. Family medicine educators face unique challenges in promotion due to clinical requirements and often less guidance on how to meet promotion criteria. Promotion recognizes achievements of faculty and is often tied to higher base salary. We aimed to identify promotion preparation tips for academic family medicine educators. METHODS: We surveyed members of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Medical Student Education Collaborative electronically on promotion preparation lessons learned in (1) curriculum vitae preparation, (2) personal statement preparation, (3) selecting external reviewers, and (4) identifying measurable achievements. This qualitative study used grounded theory and constant comparison. RESULTS: Fourteen individuals from 13 medical institutions responded with tips for success in promotion preparation. The tips identified actionable steps for promotion preparation of academic family medicine educators. Several main themes emerged, including the importance of timely and thorough documentation, detailed planning, and being knowledgeable about institutional-specific criteria early. CONCLUSIONS: The tips provided in this study support family medicine educators in preparing for promotion and can be used as a tool for mentors, chairs and faculty development.

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