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.
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
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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).