Analysis in Brief
Analysis in Brief presents recent findings from the AAMC's data collection and research activities in a concise, easy-to-read report. Published several times a year, it addresses a wide range of topics and trends that affect medical schools and teaching hospitals.
In the past several decades, U.S. medical schools experienced remarkable growth of full-time faculty members. Throughout this growth, medical schools and the academic medicine community have maintained high interest in retaining faculty to effectively achieve their clinical, education, and research missions.
This Analysis in Brief presents updated faculty attrition statistics and operationalizes retention rates in terms of time from initial appointment to time of departure in order to draw inferences about factors associated with retention. Summary statistics for new assistant and associate professors who started their new appointment at an institution in 2000 show, for example, that assistant professors left more quickly than associate professors, that faculty in clinical departments left more quickly than their counterparts in basic science departments, and that women left their institutions at similar rates as men at the assistant professor level, but at a slower pace at the associate professor level. Trend analysis from 1970 to present shows that attrition for full professors increased modestly.
This study may provide insight into various policy issues. Decreased retention for full professors, along with the increasing number of faculty members in medical schools, raise questions of how best to recruit and support junior faculty, as well as mid-career mentoring plans to advance associate professors.
Related Resources (February 2014)
The Long-term Retention and Attrition of U.S. Medical School Faculty
Some Hidden Costs of Faculty Turnover in Clinical Departments in One Academic Medical Center
Retention of Full-time Clinical M.D. Faculty at U.S. Medical Schools