Being an Educator in the UPMC Department of Pathology

Teaching is an important mission in the academic setting. Therefore, nearly every faculty member in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, whether serving as the Principal Investigator of an NIH RO1 grant or managing a clinical service, is involved in educating medical students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or clinical residents and fellows.

As part of the Promotion process at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM), a faculty member is required to document their teaching activities in a variety of ways. First, all faculty under consideration for promotion must complete and submit the Teaching Summary Form and provide Teaching Documentation/Evaluations to be included in their portfolio. The information contained in these documents, including student comments and overall evaluation scores (typically ranging from 1 – 5) of their teaching performance, in conjunction with the faculty member’s CV, will be used by the promotion committee to evaluate the quality and quantity of their teaching. Since these types of documents are a component of nearly every faculty member’s promotions portfolio, it is wise to immediately begin:

  1. logging all teaching activities as they occur in your CV according to the preferred University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine format
  2. periodically reviewing teaching evaluations paying special attention to instructive comments that can be acted upon to improve teaching materials or teaching style, if necessary
  3. storing evaluations in an easily-accessible location or format for easy retrieval
These three simple steps can help save significant time and reduce stress while preparing your promotions materials.

All faculty under consideration for a promotion in UPSOM must also prepare an Executive Summary which often includes ‘education’ as a theme. This is especially true for those who seek promotion through the Clinician-Educator pathway for whom discussion of their role in teaching and education will constitute a major focus of their Executive Summary. Note that the UPSOM considers giving a few lectures that vary insignificantly from year to year to be insufficient for promotion in the Clinician-Educator pathway. Rather, for those seeking promotion in this pathway in the non-tenure stream, it is necessary to document a record of individual accomplishments that impact education, to submit a list of programmatic responsibilities and curricular contributions, to show evidence of recognizable career goals, to demonstrate career progression with increasing responsibilities and leadership activities over time, as well as to deliver high quality patient care and to serve as a mentor and role model to trainees and junior colleagues. For those who seek a tenure stream appointment as a Clinician-Educator, they must also demonstrate:

For those who seek promotion through the Investigator-Educator or Clinician-Investigator pathways, most effort should be directed towards independent research; however, a role in educating students is still expected.

Here are some helpful UPSOM resources that describe faculty expectations regarding teaching and education:

Need advice on building a strong teaching portfolio? Click Here.

For questions or suggestions concerning resources targeting Educators, please contact Marie DeFrances.