Career Development | Are You Ready For an Academic Promotion?

This article was authored by Annabelle Santos Volgman, MD, FACC, McMullan-Eybel Chair for Excellence in Clinical Cardiology, professor of medicine at Rush College of Medicine, and medical director at Rush Heart Center for Women.

Not sure what you need to do to prepare for an academic promotion? Check out the following tips on how to maximize your chances for success when you embark on the promotion process. The timeline starts much earlier than you think, the first day of your new position or rank.

  1. Be proactive: No one is more interested in your promotion than you! You have to figure out how you can get promoted in your institution.
  2. Make sure your department chair knows that you are interested in being promoted and helps you with the process.
  3. Find a niche in your field in which you can be considered an expert and then meet your peers at national meetings so that they can write a letter for you to attest your expertise in that field. I was advised by a former colleague to find a niche in cardiology, so I combined the two subjects that I frequently dealt with – atrial fibrillation and women. I wrote a review article on this and as a WomenHeart Scientific Advisory Committee member, this became my area of expertise.

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