Clinical Track Pathways

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.

Demonstrating Clinical Excellence

Clinical excellence should be considered a core requirement for promotion within the clinical track.  Possible metrics for assessment of clinical excellence could include:

  • National and professional standards for quality and safety
  • Consistency in meeting institutional standards for professionalism
  • Quality Data
  • OPPE/FPPE Information
  • Local/regional recognition 
  • Patient acknowledgements
  • Physician acknowledgements including letters noting the delivery of outstanding clinical care

Potential Pathways for Demonstrating Contributions to the Field

Several possible different pathways ("areas of excellence") for demonstrating contributions to the field have been identified, including but not limited to:

Clinician-Research Scholar

(Translational science, clinical research, health services research)

  • Peer-reviewed publications (both traditional and digital)
  • Book chapters, reviews (such as the “Clinics” series), Up to Date
  • Research funding
  • Participation in grant reviews
  • Clinical trial development, patient recruitment, leadership of trial site
  • Research consultancies with industry or other organizations
  • Participation in collaborative research
  • Patents
  • Presentations at regional and national meetings


  • Peer-reviewed publications (both traditional and digital)
  • Book chapters, reviews (such as the “Clinics” series), Up to Date
  • Teaching/educational evaluations reflective of regional or national impact
  • Innovative teaching/ educational practices
  • Teaching/ educational module development
  • Teaching/ educational publications/reviews
  • Participation in national guidelines or setting of standards
  • Patient and community education
  • Participation in ABMS boards or appropriate committees
  • Teaching/ educational courses at state, regional or national meetings
  • Teaching/educating through peer- reviewed social/ popular media
  • Creation and dissemination of innovative approaches to clinical care
  • Curriculum development

Clinician-Patient Safety / Quality Innovator

  • Outcomes and implementation science innovation
  • Development of professional quality guidelines and initiatives that have regional or national impact
  • Generation of performance data and performance goals through learning collaboratives
  • Development of best practices/innovative methods of care used more broadly
  • Lean patient safety/quality initiative leadership


Usually overlaps with one of the above pathways

  • Leadership of regional or national organizations or key committees or boards
  • Work with government organizations such as NIH, CDC, WHO as consultant or other role
  • Work with private foundations as consultant or other role
  • Community leadership activities on regional/national level
  • Outstanding service to a department, medical school, and/or the university that results in regional or national recognition


  • An opportunity for the faculty member and chair/section head/division chief to develop a pathway combining features of multiple pathways noted with clearly articulated goals and metrics.
  • To be used when combining features of multiple pathways