Clinical Track Pathways

Clinical Track Faculty Context and Guiding Principles

The University of Michigan Medical School strives to be one faculty dedicated to our missions using guiding principles of teamwork, integrity, caring and innovation to achieve excellence in all that we do.

Respecting and valuing the contributions of all faculty members is a central cultural value along with recognizing that all contributions are important to achieving our clinical, research and teaching missions.

Every faculty member should have a career development plan and associated mentoring that is reviewed and updated during their annual evaluations.

Promotions should signify that a faculty member has made important contributions to their field and profession. The rigor of the process reflects the strength of the institution.

Promotion criteria should be consistent, with recognized and respected standards (e.g., national contribution and reputation for Clinical Professors, regional contribution and reputation for Clinical Associate Professors).

As a part of the University of Michigan, the Medical School will continue to use a single “clinical track” but will recognize that there are multiple pathways for promotion possible within this track. Pathway identification will serve to facilitate faculty progress towards promotion and may be identified in the promotion materials to assist in the evaluation of the faculty member.

All clinical track appointment and promotions should recognize the achievements of individuals who have demonstrated:

  • Outstanding clinical work; teaching / educational contributions 


  • Contributions to their field or profession in scholarship / academic areas, including the scholarship of:
  • Education
  • Implementation
  • Quality improvement
  • Patient Safety
  • Service contributions will also be recognized

In recognition of the changing nature of scholarship / academic contributions in our tripartite mission in healthcare, the definition of scholarship and the criteria for external validation of contributions to the field or profession have been broadened.

FAQ Clinical Track Pathways

What is the purpose of the new clinical track pathways?

The pathways are designed as a development tool to help faculty who want to focus their careers, and to give examples and resources on how to do this. The pathways can serve as a way to design personal career goals and to be more creative by adding different components to your academic portfolio.

Does every faculty member on the clinical track have to “commit” to a certain pathway?

No, not everyone will fit into one of the pathways. There will be a portion of the faculty that will have an individualized path. This is similar to what has been the traditional approach to the clinical track; the portfolio may not be focused in one area, and could include teaching, service and scholarship. The pathways are primarily designed as a development tool to help faculty focus their careers, with suggestions to help you become more successful. Faculty members are not required to choose a pathway or make changes to their professional direction, unless they desire to do so. Newer faculty may find the pathway model helpful when facing choices about how to invest their time and effort.

I have been here for years and feel well‐established in my career and career trajectory. Do I need to make any changes?

No, if your career is going well and your goals are in line with your and your department’s interests, there is nothing you need to change. However, the pathways may help even well‐ established faculty look at new opportunities or determine what steps could support efforts to achieve promotion.

I am a newer faculty member, should I choose one of the pathways?

The pathways are designed as a development tool to help faculty focus their careers with resources to assist them to be successful. Discuss your interests with your mentor or departmental leadership, so you can start working toward your career goals. If your goals don’t perfectly fit into one of the pathways, the Individualized Portfolio path might be your best choice.

There is a new section in M-CV called "Clinical track scholarly contributions."  What belongs in that new area?

This area is designed for those people who are on a specific pathway so that non‐traditional scholarly contributions that may not fit well under the traditional components of the bibliography section can be placed here.

Only one pathway should be chosen on MCV.  If the faculty has a focused pathway, they select that, otherwise, the individualized portfolio should be chosen. A one paragraph narrative should be added under this heading to the CV.     More extensive information will go into the clinical scholarly portfolio.

Examples are: Innovative teaching, educational practices, curriculum development that are not published nationally, patient and community education, teaching and education through peer‐reviewed social/popular media.

Additionally, we recognize that there are many faculty contributing to papers on which they are not named authors but are part of a group that collected data and is named on the paper.

Publications without named authorships, but significant involvement, is another category of scholarly contributions that can fall within this area.

Have there been changes to what is considered scholarship in the promotion and appointment process for clinical track faculty?

In addition to the traditional peer‐reviewed publications, chapters, review articles, Up‐to‐Date articles, and clinical guidelines that are published locally, are all now included within the category of scholarship.

Can I switch pathways?

Absolutely. The pathways are not designed to be static and often a new faculty member starts out with an idea of what their career will look like and then after a few years, find out there are other things in which they excel or are of interest to them. Discuss with your mentor to see what options there are within the department to change your career focus. Remember the pathways are not prescriptive but more of a tool to use to help with making career decisions.