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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53-58

Part-time faculty in academic surgical specialties: The view of Canadian chairs

1 Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2 Center for Medical Education, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3 Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, McGill University; Center for Medical Education, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Nathalie Gabra
Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, 1001 Boul Decarie, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2455-5568.209852

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Background: The rising rate of physician burnout and decreased interest in pursuing careers in academic medicine has popularized the option of part-time faculty (PTF). However, the current status and role of PTF in academic surgical departments are not well-defined. Methodology: A survey was conducted to gather the perspectives of Canadian Surgical Department chairs in academic centers on the current status and role of PTF. Particularly, chairmen were asked to rate the advantages and disadvantages, perceived challenges, contributions, and overall satisfaction of PTF (on a 5-point Likert scale). Results: Forty-eight percent (40/83) of surveys were completed by surgical department chairmen. There was a large variety of responses for the advantages and disadvantages and challenges of PTF. Full-time faculty (FTF) was reported to contribute significantly more to research and teaching than PTF (85% and 12% for research, respectively, P < 0.01; 90% and 53% for teaching, respectively, P < 0.01). Despite a decreased contribution to research and teaching as compared to FTF, PTF was reported to enhance the quality and diversity of the faculty. Overall, satisfaction varied largely, with chairmen reporting greater satisfaction for FTF over PTF (P < 0.01). Discussion: The definition of PTF varied among chairmen, most being categorized into themes of time commitment, practice location, and salary. As a result, the variance in the precise role of what constitutes a PTF appears to contribute to the diverse perceptions of chairmen. The differences in contributions to the department among FTF and PTF appear nuanced. For instance, PTF was found to provide quality teaching; however, to a lesser extent than FTF. Conclusion: The perceived status of PTF within Canadian academic Surgical Departments is highly variable among chairmen. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: System-based practice, Professionalism, and Patient care.

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