Recruitment of Dual-Career Academic Medicine Couples

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Today it is not uncommon to discover that a candidate for a faculty position has a partner or spouse who is also an academician, adding complexity to the recruitment process. Here, the authors address two practical obstacles to the recruitment of faculty who have an academic partner: dual recruitment and conflict of interest. The authors have found that tandem recruitment works best when suitable positions for both spouses are first identified so that recruitment can proceed synchronously. This approach decreases misperceptions of favoritism toward either’s candidacy. Managing conflict of interest, generated by the appointment of one spouse in a supervisory position over the other, requires a proactive, transparent, well-designed plan. After canvassing human resource policies and conducting interviews with national academic leaders, the authors have developed an administrative structure that places “key” decisions (hiring and retention; promotion and tenure; salary, bonuses, and benefits; performance evaluations; and disciplinary matters) regarding the supervised spouse in the jurisdiction of an alternative administrator or committee. The authors also offer suggestions both for mitigating misperceptions of bias in day-to-day decisions and for the support and mentoring of the supervised partner or spouse.

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