There are new tracks emerging for those faculty members who are part of an academic system but do little work inside the university. For those who are affiliated and perhaps only occasionally teach a student or resident, universities are creating new types of appointments that do not have the word “professor” in them, such as “health system clinician.” Some universities use the titles “clinical instructor” or “clinical assistant professor.” As systems grow larger, the importance of a professorship can get diluted so new titles are being invented. These by no means lessen the importance of the physicians’ contributions. They do recognize that these distinguished physicians are dedicating their lives to essential clinical work but not dedicating their time to creating new knowledge, new discoveries, or new educational models. This is a work in progress.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 33 – No 10 – October 2014
In the final analysis, all roles have enormous importance to the university, to the community, and to society at large. Every physician, through clinical, educational, or academic work, is meaningfully and powerfully impacting the lives of others. My advice is to choose the career that makes you happy. Be excited to wake up every day. Know you are influential, even powerful, in the lives of those you come in contact with. I wish you peace, happiness, and fulfillment. You deserve it.
Dr. Adams is senior vice president and chief medical officer of Northwestern Medicine and professor and chair in the department of emergency medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.