How are attending faculty promoted to professor?

Others are going to tell you the standard spiel, but also the additional truth is that it's also completely dependent upon the culture of the hiring institution/department:

  1. Some medical schools value physician faculty who are mostly clinicians. These universities will create advancement pathways for clinicians. But this attitude may only live in some departments/divisions but not others. You're more likely to find it in primary care, but it's not universal in all departments/subspecialty sections in those organizations.
  2. Alternatively, some medical schools/departments do not value clinicians much. These places will push that the promotions (and tenure) will go mainly to those physician faculty who generate ongoing high-dollar grant money, do research, have numerous high profile publications, and national visibility. This attitude surprisingly can exist in smaller universities with a lesser research profile, and can cause them to disrespect and force out great clinical faculty from the promotion tracks.

The bottom line is this: if you want to stay in academics with your goals, look for a job that fits #1 and not #2. There are positions out there with clinical promotion tracts that don't require you to come from prestigious schools/programs. Distinguish yourself clinically in your current program, and put extra work into being a great teacher to trainees you work with. If you get the chance to co-author on a case report or 2 with your profs, that would also look great on your CV.

/r/medicine Thread