Tried and true: A survey of successfully promoted academic hospitalists

Luci K. Leykum, Vikas I. Parekh, Bradley Sharpe, Romsai T. Boonyasai, Robert M. Centor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Academic hospital medicine is a new and rapidly growing field. Hospitalist faculty members often fill roles not typically held by other academic faculty, maintain heavy clinical workloads, and participate in nontraditional activities. Because of these differences, there is concern about how academic hospitalists may fare in the promotions process. Objective: To determine factors critical to the promotion of successfully promoted hospitalists who have achieved the rank of either associate professor or professor. Design: A cross-sectional survey. Participants: Thirty-three hospitalist faculty members at 22 academic medical centers promoted to associate professor rank or higher between 1995 and 2008. Measurements: Respondents were asked to describe their institution, its promotions process, and the activities contributing to their promotion. We identified trends across respondents. Results: Twenty-six hospitalists responded, representing 20 institutions (79% response rate). Most achieved promotion in a nontenure track (70%); an equal number identified themselves as clinician-administrators and clinician educators (40%). While hospitalists were engaged in a wide range of activities in the traditional domains of service, education, and research, respondents considered peer-reviewed publication to be the most important activity in achieving promotion. Qualitative responses demonstrated little evidence that being a hospitalist was viewed as a hindrance to promotion. Conclusions: Successful promotion in academic hospital medicine depends on accomplishment in traditional academic domains, raising potential concerns for academic hospitalists with less traditional roles. This study may provide guidance for early-career academic hospitalists and program leaders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-415
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Academic hospital medicine
  • Hospitalists
  • Promotions process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Internal Medicine
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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