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Characteristics of Faculty at Risk of Leaving Their Medical Schools: An Analysis of the StandPoint™ Faculty Engagement Survey

Authors Zimmermann EM, Mramba LK, Gregoire H, Dandar V, Limacher MC, Good ML

Received 30 July 2019

Accepted for publication 25 November 2019

Published 8 January 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 1—10

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JHL.S225291

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Russell Taichman


Ellen M Zimmermann, 1 Lazarus K Mramba, 2 Hamleen Gregoire, 3 Valerie Dandar, 4 Marian C Limacher, 5 Michael L Good 6

1Faculty Development, College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 2Department of Biostatistics & Data Science, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS, USA; 3Faculty Affairs in the College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 4Medical School Operations, Academic Affairs, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC, USA; 5Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 6University of Utah School of Medicine, Health Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Correspondence: Ellen M Zimmermann
University of Florida, 1329 SW 16th ST, Suite 5251, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
Tel +1352-273-9474
Email ezimmer2@ufl.edu

Purpose: This study seeks to identify the characteristics and attitudes of faculty in US medical colleges who are at risk of leaving their institution.
Methods: This research leverages data from the AAMC StandPoint Faculty Engagement Survey administered to 37,779 faculty representing 36 institutions participating during 2013– 2016. Univariate and multivariable robust logistic regression models were used to assess predictors of the intent to leave based on the question: “Do you plan to leave this medical school in the next 1– 2 years?”.
Results: Thirty percent (n=5559/18,475) of faculty responded that they were considering leaving their institution. Thirty-one percent of female faculty vs 29% of male faculty expressed an intent to leave. At-risk faculty were likely to be at junior faculty rank and at their institutions for 6– 15 years vs other time periods (OR=1.16; p≤ 0.001). Having an administrative title (OR=0.72; p≤ 0.001) and receiving formal mentorship (OR=0.65; p≤ 0.001) were protective. Finally, faculty answering “disagree” or “strongly disagree” to any one of these StandPoint Survey questions were at > 6 fold risk of expressing an intent to leave: 1) I am satisfied with my opportunities for professional development, 2) I feel appreciated by my supervisor, 3) My day-to-day activities give me a sense of accomplishment.
Conclusion: Faculty expressing an intent to leave their institution have an identifiable profile. Top concerns of at-risk faculty relate to supervisory relationships and growth opportunities rather than compensation or governance. Institutional leaders should consider these factors in the development of a proactive strategy to retain talented faculty.

Keywords: retention, professional development, mentorship, medical school governance

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