Support and rewards for scholarly activity in family medicine: a national survey

Fam Med. 1997 Jul-Aug;29(7):508-12.


Background and objectives: This survey examined how time is allotted for family medicine faculty to pursue scholarly activities and how these activities are rewarded.

Methods: A survey was sent to all directors of family practice residency programs (n = 373) and chairs of family medicine departments (n = 112). Four primary questions were asked: 1) How is faculty time allotted for scholarly activities? 2) Does the residency or department use an explicit reward system? 3) What activities are rewarded? and 4) What rewards are used?

Results: A total of 363 surveys were returned, for a response rate of 75%. Forty-nine percent of respondents have regular, protected faculty time for scholarly activities. Faculty at university-based residencies and departments were more likely to have protected time (68/93, 73%) than faculty at community-based residencies (93/238, 39%). Thirty-eight percent of respondents have an explicit reward system. Activities rewarded and rewards used are department and program-type specific.

Conclusions: Only 39% of community-based residencies and 73% of university programs allot regular protected time for faculty. The majority of programs and departments do not have an explicit reward system. Further studies are needed to determine if the use of protected time and reward systems enhance scholarly productivity.

MeSH terms

  • Career Mobility*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Motivation
  • Research Support as Topic*
  • United States