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Early Career Development Resources for Surgical Faculty

The Association for Academic Surgery has been teaching how to become a successful academic surgeon for over 20 years. Success in Academic Surgery, Second Edition reinforces the curriculum of the AAS courses and also provides guidance to individual surgeons who have not had the opportunity to attend these courses.

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This document provides a step-by-step framework to create a plan for your career growth and professional development. The professional career plan can help you focus on your goals and achieve concrete results. Click on the PDF image to download.

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Seven short essays developed by the Board of Governors Surgical Training Workgroup are meant to convey, in a succinct manner, key concepts about the early years in practice.


The mission of the AAS is to inspire and develop young academic surgeons. The following is a video resource for junior surgical faculty from the AAS Committee for Academic Advancement: Negotiating your first job, Re-negotiating your academic job, and Time Management Tips for Academic Surgeons.

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From this Association for Academic Surgery Early Career Development Course, learn to effectively plan and start your academic career, negotiate your job, resources, and programmatic support. Also discover how to build and manage a research team; obtain and sustain research funding; make the most of society, university, and hospital committee involvement; and achieve national and local visibility. In addition, learn to advance along promotion and tenure tracks; develop and sustain mentoring relationships; cope with and recover from setbacks; appreciate diverse pathways to success in academic surgery, and network with leaders in academic surgery and with early-career peers.


We are pleased to share with you the Faculty of Medicine Governance, Appointment and Promotion Handbook. The processes by which faculty are hired, appointed and rewarded and the policies by which we are governed as a community are central to the success of the Faculty of Medicine.

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Harvard Medical School (HMS) has many academic resources available for use by BIDMC faculty. These include: 1) Harvard Medical School Promotion Process for Full time and Part Time faculty, 2) Curriculum Vitae in Harvard Format, 3) Teaching Opportunities at Harvard Medical School.

The development of an academic surgical career can be an overwhelming prospect, and one that is not intuitive. Establishing a structured plan and support structure is critical to success. Starting a successful academic surgical career begins with defining one's academic goals within several broad categories: personal goals, academic goals, research goals, educational goals, and financial goals.

A critical component of a successful academic career is the understanding of institutional criteria and guidelines for academic appointment, promotion, and tenure. It is important to point out that these criteria and guidelines may vary from institution to institution; however, they are uniform for all clinical faculty within a single institution and do not differ from department to department. The purpose of this article is to provide the aspiring academic surgeon with a basic understanding of academic faculty appointments, promotion, and tenure.


Mentoring is an essential component of a successful career in any profession, and these relationships are beginning to be explored in great detail in academic surgery. This complex process must be mastered if one is to be successful in either academia or private practice.

Hoover EL. Arch Surg. 2005 Jun

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