#1: COAP letter to extramural consultants

Available: HERE (word)

#2 Preparing Your Promotion Dossier:  A Step-by-Step Guide

Available: HERE (pdf)

Guidelines for mentor/mentee conversations

Clinician-Educators: Years 7-9

Primary emphasis: Gaining additional exposure

“What really hit me when I started serving on the medical school COAP was how important those letters are.” 

~ Kathy N. Shaw, M.D., M.S.C.E.; Professor of Pediatrics at CHOP; Chief, Division of Emergency Medicine at CHOP; member School of Medicine COAP.

When mentees come up for review at the end of this phase of their appointments, the School of Medicine COAP will solicit letters from external reviewers or “extramural consultants.”  Standard text for letters to consultants follows in the box below. 

It is hard to overstate the importance of these letters in the promotion process. Letters from consultants serve as an important gauge of the extent to which candidates are recognized for their contributions within the larger scholarly community. 

For assistant professors in the C-E track, this translates into a regional reputation.  Generally, COAP defines “regional” as referring to locations outside of the Delaware Valley but within a day’s drive, so, for example, New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh would qualify.  Of course, being invited to speak at prestigious institutions beyond this radius will only work to a candidate’s advantage.  

Coaching tip

Letters from extramural consultants will be extremely important when mentees come up for review. Mentors can help mentees cultivate potential letter-writers by bringing the following opportunities to obtain “face time” with extramural scholars to mentees’ attention.

Ways to help cultivate potential letter-writers
(roll mouse over each)
Recommend your mentees for study sections. Serving on study sections will offer them the opportunity to demonstrate the clarity of their scientific reasoning to prominent scholars in their fields.
Call your colleagues at universities throughout the country to solicit invitations for your mentees.
Invite the top names in your mentees' area of expertise to give seminars. If they accept, make sure your mentees get some individual face-time with visiting scholars.
Find opportunities for your mentees to organize or participate in high-profile conferences.
Help your mentees identify the key professional societies in their area of biomedical expertise and secure membership in them

Service on study sections

Invited lectures

Meetings with visiting scholars

Roles organizing conferences 

Memberships in professional and scientific societies

As faculty approach their mandatory review year, mentors should encourage them to start assembling their dossiers.  For guidance in this area, they may want to direct faculty to the Preparing Your Promotion Dossier: A Step-by-Step Guide Guidebook (pdf).

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