Career Planning

The Department of Medicine recognizes the importance of four distinct, yet overlapping faculty career pathways, each of which encompasses a set of specific criteria that reflect the needs of the individual, specialty, department and School of Medicine.

Faculty may be one of three tracks: the Clinician track, the Research Track or the Investigation Track. Promotion will be on the most appropriate track for individual productivity. Generally, faculty on the Investigator Track are committing 80% effort to research.

Faculty may follow Career Pathways which are not the same as the Academic tracks:

  • Clinician-educator
  • Clinical investigator-educator
  • Translational investigator-educator
  • Basic investigator-educator

The criteria, outlined below, are fully consistent with those adopted by the School of Medicine in its Appointments and Promotions Guidelines and Requirements (APGAR) (October 8, 1992).

Note that faculty of all four career pathways may spend varying proportions of their time on administrative, clinical, research and educational activities.

Clinician-Educator Pathway

The clinician-educator is an outstanding clinician. By virtue of her/his special background, training and/or responsibilities she/he provides essential skills/services to patients or to the Department of Medicine, which assures excellence in patient care.

Excellence in teaching is an essential component of the clinician-educator’s responsibilities. The Department of Medicine expects faculty on this pathway to regularly contribute to the scholarly environment by developing specialized clinical services and programs, attending and participating in local, national or international meetings, activities that enhance community health awareness, and especially by contributing to the literature.

Recognition of teaching excellence is documented by evaluations, honors and awards, invitations to present locally, regionally and nationally. Clinical excellence is documented through patient satisfaction, practice efficiency, safety, quality, volume and outcomes, and regional and national referrals and recognition.

View tips for promotion »

Clinician Investigator-Educator & Translational Investigator-Educator Pathway

The clinical investigator-educator is an outstanding clinical investigator. She/he may be involved in both individual, as well as multi-investigator initiated efforts. Long-term she/he will assume significant responsibility of a focused scholarly effort which is hypothesis-driven. Often these studies will be in areas of patient-oriented and/or translational research.

The impact of her/his investigation will be evident by the quality and importance of the accomplishments. Most often this will be communicated by original contributions to the scholarly literature. Extramural funding will usually support these investigations.

“Non-traditional” contributions to the advancement of the field (e.g., via electronic media) are often utilized, as well. Excellence in teaching is an essential component of the clinical investigator-educator pathway.

Excellence is also recognized by leadership in research efforts, local and national awards, mentoring of trainees into successful academic careers, and participation in regional and national research committees, governmental agencies or funding agencies.

View tips for promotion »

Basic Investigator-Educator

The basic investigator-educator is an outstanding basic investigator. She/he may be involved in both individual, as well as multi-investigator initiated efforts. Long-term she/he will assume significant responsibility of a focused scholarly effort which is hypothesis-driven.

The impact of her/his investigation will be evident by the quality and importance of the accomplishments. This will be communicated by original contributions to the scholarly literature. Extramural funding will support these investigations.

Excellence in teaching is an essential component of the basic investigator-educator pathway. Excellence is also recognized by local and national honors and awards, mentoring graduate students, medical students and fellows into successful academic careers, and participation in regional and national research committees, governmental agencies and funding agencies.

View tips for promotion »


January 1997; Adapted from OFD – Department of Pediatrics, Guidelines for Career Planning 2013_10_24 – Final