Clinical Faculty Process Reviews

Clinical Appointments and Promotion Process

September 18, 2022

During the past 5 years, some process gaps were identified relating to appointments promotions.  While appointments are made by the Dean on recommendation of the Clinical Chairs, the process of appointments, renewals, and promotions was variable among departments.  This necessitated a comprehensive review and harmonization of the process to ensure consistency across all departments.  The revised process, approved by the Dean’s Executive Committee (DEC) on June 6, 2022, is summarized in the document found here.  Highlights include:

  1. All Clinical Faculty are, in principle, required to submit Clinical Faculty Academic Contribution Reports at least twice during their appointment period.
  2. Clinical Chairs or delegates are expected to review Clinical Faculty performance at least twice during their appointment period. This may be done in-person or over video, but there should be opportunity for feedback to, and response from the appointee.
  3. Clinical Lecturers are initially probationary for a period of 3 years. Those who wish to remain Clinical Lecturers may do so if there is a minimum amount of academic contribution to the Department and Faculty as defined by the Chair.
  4. Specific procedures have been put in place for suspension and termination of appointments, as well as grounds for non-renewal.
  5. A formal process for appealing suspension or termination of clinical appointments has been put in place.
  6. Guidelines for removal of Clinical Faculty from learners without suspension of appointment have been put in place.
  7. The recommended minimum time frames in a certain rank before applying for promotion have been revised to reflect quality, quantity, and duration of academic contributions.
  8. Promotion guidelines have been completely revamped to reflect contribution, and where appropriate, leadership, in the 4 pillars of education, clinical, research and administration.
  9. A formal process for appealing decisions for denial of promotion has been implemented.

Clinical Teaching Performance

Feedback from Clinical Faculty identified a clear gap in the process for reviewing teaching performance.  Teaching evaluations are typically distributed at the end of an academic year, often many months after the completion of clinical teaching encounters with learners.  In some instances, comments that are left on the evaluations were seen as hurtful and demoralizing.  To address these gaps, a process for addressing clinical teaching performance was developed and approved by the DEC on June 6, 2022, which can be referenced here.  The summary of this process is based on four levels of intervention:

  1. Routine feedback
  2. Occasional suboptimal evaluations
  3. Repeated underperformance
  4. Potential egregious teaching concern

In essence, it provides an opportunity for the Clinical Faculty member to discuss their evaluations with a program lead, or Associate Dean UGME/PGME, to allow their perspective to be shared and acknowledged, and where appropriate, a venue to encourage a safe space for open discussion and growth.  It is only in situations with potentially egregious teaching concerns where immediate removal from learners may be initiated by the Associate Dean UGME/PGME.