During the last decade academic medical centers (AMCs) have hired large numbers of clinician-educators to teach and provide clinical care. However, these clinician-educators often do not advance in academic rank, since excellence in clinical care and teaching alone is not adequate justification for advancement. The authors articulate the problems with the present system of recognition for clinician-educators-i.e., the requirement for regional and national reputation, the lack of reliable measures of clinical and teaching excellence, and the lack of training opportunities for young clinician-educators. They call for solutions, including fundamental changes in promotion criteria (e.g., focus criteria for promotion on clinician-educators' accomplishments within their institutions) and the development of valid and feasible methods to measure outcomes of teaching programs. Further, they recommend the development of a new faculty position, a "clinician-educator researcher," to foster the scholarship of discovery in medical education and clinical practice. Investments in clinician-educator researchers will ultimately help AMCs to achieve their threefold mission-excellence in patient care, teaching, and research.