To establish guidelines for more effectively incorporating part-time faculty into departments of internal medicine, a task force was convened in early 2007 by the Association of Specialty Professors. The task force used informal surveys, current literature, and consensus building among members of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine to produce a consensus statement and a series of recommendations. The task force agreed that part-time faculty could enrich a department of medicine, enhance workforce flexibility, and provide high-quality research, patient care, and education in a cost-effective manner. The task force provided a series of detailed steps for operationalizing part-time practice; to do so, key issues were addressed, such as fixed costs, malpractice insurance, space, cross-coverage, mentoring, career development, productivity targets, and flexible scheduling. Recommendations included (1) increasing respect for work-family balance, (2) allowing flexible time as well as part-time employment, (3) directly addressing negative perceptions about part-time faculty, (4) developing policies to allow flexibility in academic advancement, (5) considering part-time faculty as candidates for leadership positions, (6) encouraging granting agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and Veterans Administration, to consider part-time faculty as eligible for research career development awards, and (7) supporting future research in "best practices" for incorporating part-time faculty into academic departments of medicine.
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