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Acad Med. 2011 Jan;86(1):127-31. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181ffae5e.

Perspective: Recognizing and rewarding clinical scholarship.

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Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


Faculty members in medical schools and academic medical centers are in a constant process of generating new knowledge. The cornerstone of academia--and academic medicine--is scholarship. Traditionally, tenure and/or academic promotion in the professorial ranks is awarded to those who meet institutional criteria in the missions of research, teaching, and service, including patient care. In the academic review process, priority is often placed on a record of demonstrated, consistent success in traditional laboratory research, also known as the scholarship of discovery. More recently, there has been greater recognition of other forms of scholarship: education, application, and integration. These forms of scholarship, although less recognized, also result in the generation of new knowledge. In an attempt to understand the breadth and scope of clinical scholarship, the authors searched the extant literature in academic medicine for a definition of clinical scholarship and expanded the search to disciplines outside of medicine. They found that succinct, discrete definitions of clinical scholarship have been published in other disciplines, but not in academic medicine. After reviewing definitions of clinical scholarship from other disciplines, adapting definitions of educational scholarship in academic medicine, and including qualities unique to clinical scholarship, the authors developed a framework for understanding clinical scholarship in academic medicine as a means for opening a dialogue within the academic medical community. This dialogue hopefully will lead to formulating a succinct, discrete definition of clinical scholarship that will allow greater recognition and reward for clinical scholars in the promotion and tenure process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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