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Teach Learn Med. 2004 Fall;16(4):323-8.

Comparison of scholarly productivity of general and subspecialty clinician-educators in internal medicine.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.



Peer-reviewed publications and extramural reputation are criteria used to evaluate clinician-educators for promotion. There is concern that these criteria may be disadvantageous to clinician-educators in generalist fields relative to their specialist counterparts.


To determine whether medicine subspecialists had more peer-reviewed publications and academic activities outside their home institution than general internal medicine (GIM) faculty, and to explore possible explanations for observed differences.


Cross-sectional survey of all clinician-educators in a department of medicine at a leading public U.S. medical school. The survey assessed clinical duties, publications, and professional activities.


Seventy-one percent (42/59) of clinician-educator faculty responded. GIM clinician-educators spent fewer months on inpatient services (p = 0.01), but more time in clinic (p = 0.05). Specialist clinician-educators had more peer-reviewed publications (p = 0.003), but total publications since entering a clinician-educator track was similar (p > 0.2). After multiple linear regression, only academic rank (p = 0.001) and subspecialty membership (p = 0.005) remained significant predictors of peer-reviewed publication. GIM faculty reported spending more scholarly time on "activities unlikely to result in publication" (p < 0.01). A greater proportion of specialists served on extramural committees (72% vs. 41%, p = 0.05) and lectured outside their home institution in the preceding year (92% vs. 59%, p = 0.02).


In this single-institution survey, specialist clinician-educators reported more peer-reviewed publications and greater participation in other reputation-enhancing activities than did GIM clinician-educators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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