Tips for the promotion of Clinician Track Faculty

Reputation building

  • Create a niche. Develop a focus and become respected for your expertise. Work with your mentors and division director to establish this niche.
  • Arrange for invitations to speak at strategic venues, national and international settings and meetings; give lectures, grand rounds, abstracts, etc. in order to build your regional, national and international reputation.
  • Seek positions on national/regional committees, increase your leadership role in diverse settings.
  • Cultivate national, international contacts through participation in national committees and boards. Ask to be introduced. Colleagues and mentors can help you.


Have good mentor(s) to guide your career development and facilitate your transition to independence. A mentor can help promote your trajectory by introductions, suggesting you for lectures and committees, and reporting your success to the chair. Develop a career development plan with goals, objectives and timeline. Review with your division director. Establish personal and professional goals and metrics.

Be a good mentor, train others to do well. This is more critical as your proceed. Delegate appropriately; keep a record of those you have truly mentored/trained (trainee track record table).


Develop your role as an educator teaching Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) students, residents, fellows, faculty and the community.

Patient care

Clinical work – be sure to measure your success so that you will have evidence for promotion. Did you develop, improve, or grow the clinic? Develop innovative protocols? Increase referrals? Broaden the scope of patient populations? Increase patient satisfaction? Improve patient satisfaction? Improve patient outcomes?


While significant scholarship is not a formal requirement of the clinician track at WUSM, it is desirable and encouraged in the Department of Medicine, thus it is important that the faculty member and division director discuss and agree upon one’s career goals.

  • Papers can be in clinical area of expertise and/or education.
  • Turn basic activities and civic duty into papers by publishing clinical practice guidelines or national guidelines.
  • Use creative publications – videos, syllabi and computer offerings; important contributions do not all have to be in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Book chapters and reviews count; write chapters/reviews in best books, or edit books. Express interest in editorial boards of leading journals in your area; remember who asked you so you can later ask for a recommendation letter. As you progress, move from ad hoc reviewer to editor or associate editor status. Participate in publication committees.
  • Clarify early in the process your author position on papers. Try to avoid presence of your mentor or other senior individual as last author on every paper to avoid the impression that you are not becoming independent. When middle author and collaborative interaction is important, make sure that this is known and documented. Authorship should reflect your role and responsibility on the paper.
  • Be a good citizen, be diplomatic and work well with other members of the teams you participate in.

Documenting your accomplishments

Documentation is important. Compile detailed and concrete evidence of your work: clinical activities, administrative work, leadership, teaching, evaluations and teaching awards (i.e. your portfolio – keep it updated). Consider carefully who will write letters of recommendation.

Update your CV and portfolio as soon as possible after every talk, paper, or other achievement – make it readable and accurate. Review CV and portfolio with other clinician faculty and with your division director annually. Document events in order from oldest to most recent (from top to bottom).

  • Document teaching, evaluations and teaching awards.
  • Keep department chair and division director aware of your progress.
  • Meet regularly with your mentor(s) and division director. Solicit feedback frequently and address feedback. Participate in annual evaluations with your division director/section chief.