Clinical Track Success


Physician with young patient

The Clinical Track began in 1986 and actively contributes to the clinical and teaching missions of the Medical School, as well as scholarship and administration. The ranks are instructor through professor. Although there is no mandated ascension in rank, ascent to senior level titles requires scholarly engagement and productivity as well as excellence in health care and teaching.

Major Activities

Clinical Care, Teaching, Scholarship, and Service

The clinical track is unique because faculty members on this track have very different jobs with a varying degree of involvement in clinical care, teaching, research and service.

A look at a clinical track faculty member:

  • There are those who provide mostly clinical service, like patient care and may or may not teach.
  • Some clinician educators have an emphasis on teaching, with or without teaching administration (e.g. Residency Directors or Medical Student Directors).
  • Some clinical track faculty have grant funding and spend most of their time in research, where they teach and mentor.
  • Some clinical track faculty have large administrative functions, e.g. division directors or those who run clinical programs in conjunction with providing care and possibly teaching (e.g. ACU Directors).

Strategies for Success

Success on the clinical track can look very different for different people and may or may nor include academic promotion.

Some examples of success are:

  • Great clinical reputation/To be the best clinician one can be.
  • Academic promotion to associate or full professor.
  • Being a clinician educator with or without publishing in education.
  • To hold organizational leadership positions in the division, department, medical school, university or nationally.
  • National recognition in their respective field.
  • Become a researcher/obtain grant funding.

Career Development

If promotion to the next rank is a priority, then focus should be on all areas of the academic promotion process with a balanced portfolio in:

  • Clinical care.
  • Teaching.
  • Research/scholarship, possible grants, team science.
  • Administration.
  • Regional/national reputation in field.

If promotion is not a current priority because scholarship is not a career focus, then other activities listed below can lead to a successful career:

  • Clinical care.
  • Clinical leadership.
  • Teaching.
  • Educational committees.


The criteria for appointment and promotion in the Clinical Track will be applied with an emphasis on the impact of the nominee on his or her professional environment. Longevity in a rank or position is not sufficient evidence of accomplishment or merit for promotion to a senior level. Review information on the Promotions Process.