Career Development Stages

Early Career Development

Early career faculty, typically assistant professors, are frequently embarking on their first full-time jobs as academic medicine faculty members. Faculty at this stage often have high enthusiasm for their new careers but also a good deal to learn about job duties, the organization, and the institutional culture. Supervisors and peers may want to involve new faculty in committees, educational initiatives, and research projects of potential interest.  As there is a risk to involving early career faculty in too much or in activities inconsistent with their career goals and responsibilities, good mentoring and a clear development plan are crucial to new faculty success. Moreover, encouraging early career faculty to engage regularly in behaviors associated with long-term well-being can promote career perseverance, success, and satisfaction.

Mid-Career Development

Mid-career faculty, typically associate professors, are the cornerstone of training in academic medical centers. They are often efficient in their work, have a solid network of colleagues, and a clear professional identity. Still, for a number of reasons, they are at risk for leaving academic medicine more so than their early career and late career colleagues.1

To facilitate ongoing success in mid-career faculty, it is important to invest in continued opportunities for faculty development and mentorship. Mid-career faculty have different needs than their junior colleagues, as they often have expanding roles within the department or school and more supervisory and leadership responsibilities. Balancing these new roles with other duties and home and family lives often necessitates further skill-building to sustain well-being and faculty vitality in mid-career.

1 Campion MW, Bhasin RM, Beaudette DJ, Shann MH, Benjamin EJ. Mid-career faculty development in academic medicine: how does it impact faculty and institutional vitality? J Fac Dev. 2016;30:49–64.

Advanced Career Development

The average age of medical school faculty is increasing, and many faculty are delaying retirement.2 Thus, senior faculty may spend three or more decades in their roles. These faculty, typically full professors, are a diverse group with rich expertise and experience to share. Their efforts frequently shift toward serving others, whether at the individual, department, school, or institutional level. Some senior faculty will advance into executive leadership roles and desire further training to maximize their skill sets and effectiveness. Other faculty may need ongoing support and development focused on staying vital and engaged as well as planning career wind-down and for retirement. In fact, there is research to suggest that while more than 50% of senior faculty report receiving no mentoring, many still desire mentoring, especially career mentoring that focuses on how to leverage their many years of experience in new ways.2

2 Stearns J, Everard KM, Gjerde CL, Stearns M, Shore W. Understanding the needs and concerns of senior faculty in academic medicine: Building strategies to maintain this critical resource. Acad Med. 2013;88:1927–1933

Training Opportunities

In addition to the many training opportunities available at the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers a variety of opportunities that are organized by career stage/academic rank, including:

chevron-right icon Early Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar

chevron-right icon Mid-career Minority Leadership Seminar

chevron-right icon Organizational Leadership in Academic Medicine for New Associate Deans and Department Chairs

chevron-right icon Complete list of AAMC career development courses 

Resources

Development Resources

Review recent articles on career development in academic medicine.