What’s New and In the Queue for Academic Medicine

What’s New: A Preview of the February Issue

The February issue of Academic Medicine is now available! Read the entire issue online at academicmedicine.org. Highlights from the issue include:

Leading by Example: Role Modeling Resilience Helps Our Learners and Ourselves
Abraza and Nelson find that while solutions to the burnout crisis are complex, the foundations of improving this epidemic lie in restoring a sense of purpose and balance in the lives of those who work in academic medicine.

It Is Time For Zero Tolerance For Sexual Harassment In Academic Medicine
Bates and colleagues discover that sexual harassment continues in academic health centers; each institution must work to make reporting safe for victims, to provide training for victims and bystanders, and to abolish all talk that is demeaning to women.

The High-Value Care Rounding Tool: Development and Validity Evidence
McDaniel and colleagues aim to define observable high-value care (HVC) concepts by developing an instrument to measure the content and frequency of HVC discussions in bedside teaching.

Using a Simulation of a Frustrated Faculty Member During Department Chair Searches: A Proof of Concept Project
Shapiro and colleagues describe a pilot that used simulation scenarios in four department chair searches at Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Health to assess candidates’ skill at handling common, challenging situations with faculty members.

The Decanal Divide: Women in Decanal Roles at U.S. Medical Schools
Schor compared women to men at dean-level positions for 136 schools in 2016. Only 15% of deans were women, with most in institutional image, education, or mentoring-related positions. For more information, read the complementing blog post.


What’s In the Queue: A Sneak Peek

Here’s a preview of an upcoming Research Report by Veronica F. Ranieri, MA, MSc, PhD, Helen Barratt, MA, MSc, PhD, Geraint Rees, MA, PhD, and Naomi J. Fulop, MPH, PhD

A Qualitative Study of the Influences on Clinical Academic Physicians’ Postdoctoral Career Decision Making


To describe the influences on clinical academic physicians’ postdoctoral career decision making.

Thirty-five doctoral trainee physicians from University College London took part in semistructured interviews in 2015 and 2016. Participants were asked open-ended questions about their career to date, their experiences undertaking a PhD, and their career plans post PhD. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to generate, review, and define themes from the transcripts. Emerging differences and similarities in participants’ reasons for pursuing a PhD were then grouped to produce typologies to explore how their experiences influenced their career decision making.

Participants described four key reasons for undertaking a PhD, which formed the basis of the four typologies identified. These reasons included the following: to pursue a clinical academic career; to complete an extensive period of research to understand whether a clinical academic career was the desired path forward; to improve clinical career prospects; and to take a break from clinical training.

These findings highlight the need to target efforts at retaining clinical academic physicians according to their reasons for pursuing a PhD and their subsequent experiences with the process. Those responsible for overseeing clinical training must be well informed of the long-term benefits of training academically qualified physicians. In light of current political uncertainty, universities, hospitals, and external agencies alike must increase their efforts to inspire and assuage early-career clinical academic physicians’ fears regarding their academic future.

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