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PURPOSE - To assess equity in compensation and academic advancement in an academic pediatrics department in which a large proportion of the physician faculty hold part-time appointments.
METHOD - The authors analyzed anonymized data from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics databases for physician faculty (faculty with MD or MD/PhD degrees) employed during July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. The primary outcomes were total compensation and years at assistant professor rank. They compared compensation and years at junior rank by part-time versus full-time status, controlling for gender, rank, track, years since first appointment as an assistant professor, and clinical productivity.
RESULTS - Of the 119 physician faculty in the department, 112 met inclusion criteria. Among those 112 faculty, 23 (21%) were part-time and 89 (79%) were full-time faculty. Part-time faculty were more likely than full-time faculty to be women (74% versus 28%, P < .001) and married (100% versus 84%, P = .042). Analyses accounting for gender, years since first appointment, rank, clinical productivity, and track did not demonstrate significant differences in compensation by part-time versus full-time status. In other adjusted analyses, faculty with part-time appointments spent an average of 2.48 more years as an assistant professor than did faculty with full-time appointments.
CONCLUSIONS - Overall group differences in total compensation were not apparent in this department, but physician faculty with part-time appointments spent more time at the rank of assistant professor. This study provides a model for determining and analyzing compensation and effort to ensure equity and transparency across faculty.
PURPOSE - Academic departments of medicine must compete effectively for extramural research support and access to patients while preserving their teaching mission. There is not much literature describing plausible mechanisms for ensuring success. The authors describe the design, implementation, and testing of a performance-based compensation plan in a department of medicine that is closely linked to the faculty appointment track.
METHOD - Over a three-year period, the changes this plan effected in research portfolio, clinical enterprise, and faculty satisfaction as well as the teaching perceptions of students and housestaff were measured.
RESULTS - The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for clinical work grew 40% faster after plan implementation. Federal funding increased at a CAGR that was 170% greater than before. The department halved its award rankings at the National Institutes of Health and faculty satisfaction improved compared with the former method of compensation. Faculty who better understood the plan were more satisfied with the conversion. High measures of teaching quality were maintained by faculty with no apparent change in satisfaction among students or housestaff.
CONCLUSIONS - This performance-based compensation plan with its emphasis on the objectives of career orientation and faculty track assignment strengthened the opportunity to grow both clinical productivity and the funded research portfolio.
This analysis of workforce projections confirms that early employment withdrawal by registered nurse baby boomers could have a profound effect on US health care. The available policy mechanisms to encourage or discourage any early withdrawal require several years to implement, which makes timely decisions imperative.