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Analysis in Brief

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Research institutes -- Faculty -- Perceptions, Medical colleges, Work environment


Research centers are a common mechanism for facilitating scientific work in medical schools, but little is known about how faculty operate in these milieux. Given that centers and institutes span the boundaries of traditional departments, center-affiliated faculty members can find themselves with two ties to the medical school— one through their academic department and one through the research center. Some commentators have asserted that this fluidity of faculty roles and allegiances produces positive benefits while others have argued the opposite. This Analysis in Brief examines the impact of organized research centers on faculty productivity and work life. We administered the questionnaire to a random stratified sample of full-time faculty in basic science and internal medicine departments at the top 40 research-intensive U.S. medical schools. Findings indicate that faculty from different departments and with different ranks and backgrounds interact with centers and institutes in quite different ways.


This Analysis in Brief is drawn from: The Impact of Centers and Institutes on Faculty Life: Findings from a Study of Basic Science and Internal Medicine Faculty at Research- Intensive Medical Schools. Acad Med. 2006;83: 734-743.

©2006 Association of American Medical Colleges. Available at

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