Objective: To gauge the faculty's understanding and perceptions of a recently implemented academic incentive plan (AIP) to encourage productivity. Design, Setting, and Participants: Surveys were administered to faculty at a university teaching hospital before and after allocation of the incentive during the inaugural implementation of an AIP. Main Outcome Measure: Survey Likert scale. Results: Preallocation and postallocation survey response rates were 64% and 67%, respectively. Although 92% of respondents submitted the required self-reports of academic activities, only 25% met with their chiefs to assess productivity. Despite the small incentive, more than 50% believed that the AIP encouraged them to increase academic pursuits and rewarded activities important to the department that had not previously been reimbursed. Most did not believe that teaching, clinical research, or citizenship were adequately compensated before or after AIP implementation. However, more thought that citizenship (P=.02) and administration (P=.001) were adequately compensated in the postallocation vs preallocation survey; there were similar trends for clinical research (P=.17) and teaching (P=.06). Among 25 respondents who provided additional comments, 52% mentioned a lack of transparency in the method of incentive distribution as a concern. Conclusions: Although only a few met with their chiefs for assessment, most faculty believed that even a minimal financial incentive might encourage them to increase their academic activities. We are encouraged to continue the AIP as a positive motivator for academic pursuits, and we plan additional measures to make incentive allocation more transparent.
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