Retention of Junior Faculty in Academic Medicine at the University of California, San Diego

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Abstract

Purpose

To measure overall retention of junior faculty and evaluate the effects of a junior faculty development program on the retention of junior faculty at one institution.

Method

Quantitative survival analysis techniques were used to characterize retention of all new assistant professors hired at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine for 18 years between July 1988 and December 2005, and the influence on retention of a junior faculty development program established in 1998. Data available included initial hire date, gender, ethnicity, participation in the faculty development program, and date of separation from UCSD. Actuarial Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to characterize retention and the influence of covariates up to the end of the probationary period, eight years after initial hire date.

Results

For the 839 new assistant professors, participation in the faculty development program and being hired after July 1997 had significant effects on retention. After adjusting for hire date, gender, and ethnicity, faculty participating in the faculty development program were 67% more likely to remain at UCSD at the end of their probationary period compared with nonparticipating faculty.

Conclusions

Faculty development programs for junior faculty in academic medicine can have positive effects on faculty retention and may facilitate success in academic medicine.

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