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N Engl J Med. 1988 Mar 24;318(12):741-7.

Academic promotion at a medical school. Experience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.


We studied promotions at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to determine whether clinician-teachers are less likely to be promoted or are promoted later in life than researchers and whether those who are promoted have more articles published than those who are not promoted. Over a five-year period, 93 percent of candidates for the rank of associate professor and 79 percent of the candidates for the rank of professor were promoted. There were no significant differences between clinical and research faculty members in terms of the probability that they would be promoted or their age at promotion to either associate professor or professor. Despite these findings, the responses to a questionnaire indicated that former faculty members perceived clinician-teachers as less likely than researchers to be promoted. Those who were promoted had had about twice as many articles published in peer-reviewed journals as those who were not promoted. We recommend improved counseling of medical school faculty members and more extensive discussion of the criteria for promotion and the chances of academic success.

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