The Academic RVU: A System for Measuring Academic Productivity

Reuben Mezrich, Paul G. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the importance of teaching, research, and related activities to the mission of academic medical departments, no useful and widely agreed-on metrics exist with which to assess the value of individual faculty members' contributions in these areas. Taking the concept of the clinical relative value unit (RVU) as a model, the authors describe the development of an academic RVU (aRVU) system that assigns weights to and creates formulas for assessing productivity in publications, teaching, administrative and community service, and research. The resulting aRVU schema was implemented on a Web-based system that incorporates a number of novel tools, including a curriculum vitae manager that automatically maintains and calculates total aRVU scores and breaks out component elements for each individual and for the department as a whole. The benefits and limitations of this system are discussed, as well as the potential advantages in sharing this approach with other radiology departments and other medical disciplines. Wide acceptance and implementation would make the aRVU the appropriate counterpoint to the clinical work RVU in academic medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-478
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic radiology
  • administration
  • productivity
  • relative value units
  • teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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