About the Program

What are the components of the FDP?

The FDP will provide to new (or existing) faculty at the junior or mid-levels of their careers the following:

  • Orientation
  • Development of an “Individual Career Development Plan” for each faculty member
  • Monitoring of progress in academic career development of each faculty member
  • Providing mentoring and counseling, whenever it is needed
  • Developing new programs of assisting faculty career development or tapping into existing programs of the medical school
  • Evaluation of the outcomes of FDP activities
  • Protecting the diversity of the pediatric faculty by addressing such issues as career advancement for minorities, women, etc.

A group of “faculty” who have been ignored in the past are the postdoctoral fellows who may need support in all the above areas of career choices and advancement. We will also continue to support and strengthen faculty development activities for pediatrics faculty associated with the Regional Academic Health Center, in the knowledge that they are integral to our department.

What do we mean by “Orientation”?

This component of the FDP will address issues of interest to junior and mid-level pediatric faculty:

  • Career pathways: Tenure Track vs. Non-Tenure Track and if Non-tenure, Research
  • Distribution and explanation of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio “Promotion and Tenure Guidelines”
  • Guidance about existing departmental and medical school resources for career advancement at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Guidance where to find help when it is needed
  • Presentation of resources for assistance on issues of balancing career demands with personal or family issues

What is an “Individual Career Development Plan”?

The “Individual Career Development Plan” will be developed by each faculty member emphasizing his/her directions and goals and methods to achieve these goals. This plan will be shared with the division chief and chairman and will be the basis for monitoring the progress of each faculty member toward reaching his/her academic career goals. Based on the individual faculty member’s “Individual Career Development Plan”, the progress of the faculty toward reaching his/her goals will be monitored by:

  • Periodic evaluation: whether or not faculty stays the course he/she has set
  • Changing the career course if it is mandated by the direction of the faculty or by changes in the academic environment
  • Collecting and “storing” data to be used in future efforts toward promotion and/or acquisition of tenure at the UT Health Science Center: teaching evaluations, performance evaluations for committee activities, honors and awards, etc.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-to-one, long-term interaction between a junior/mid-level member of the faculty and a seasoned, knowledgeable, academically successful senior member of the faculty regarding issues of academic activities aimed at facilitating career development, timely attainment of academic goals, and job satisfaction of the junior/mid-level faculty member. In order to have successful mentoring in the Department of Pediatrics, we will need to develop:

  • Appropriate “culture” for accepting the role of mentor within the faculty
  • Education and skill building of future mentors
  • Development of measurable outcomes of successful mentoring

Once the above are in place, we will begin the implementation of a departmental mentoring program.

What do we mean by Counseling?

During the career of each faculty, there may be need for professional, administrative, or personal counseling in order to relieve anxiety, smooth out tension, and maintain career direction. Junior and mid-level faculty are often having difficulties balancing demands of time/effort between career and family, career and personal needs, and other issues. Counseling would involve addressing issues one-on-one with a member of the FDP Committee or referrals to appropriate professional counseling services.

What are the programs of career assistance for the faculty?

This assistance will be affected by referring each faculty to institutional, or departmental, programs addressing the needs of each person. For example:

  • Master Medical Educator Program
  • Master’s of Clinical Investigation Program
  • Instruction on grant application
  • Programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Leadership Development Programs
  • Programs in Public Health

What is evaluation of outcomes in this effort?

We wish to know if the FDP is a worthwhile endeavor because “it makes the difference” in the life and career development of individual faculty and the pediatric faculty as a whole. Such evaluation of outcomes could include subjective and objective “metrics”. Possibly useful outcomes could include personal career satisfaction tools, length of time toward promotion and/or acquisition of tenure, faculty retention, development of leadership capabilities, etc.

What is protection of “diversity” of the department?

It has been demonstrated, time and again, that diversity is beneficial to an institution. Addressing the special issues arising from gender or ethnicity or cultural background and finding solutions to problems resulting from these issues of diversity for individual faculty and departmental faculty as a whole has been shown to be very beneficial to an institution. This is particularly relevant in Pediatrics where the large majority of pediatric residents are women and the upcoming new faculty will be women.

One of the critical issues for the FDP Committee is to assist each individual faculty member to realize that he/she “cannot be all things to all people.” The Pediatric faculty members will need a broad range of skills and abilities in order to succeed. The FDP will be trying to advance both the career of the individual and the departmental goals at the same time through a systematic, organized program that provides necessary competencies and skills. We need to realize that not everybody can be “a superb, NIH-supported researcher, an award-winning teacher, a superb administrator, and an outstanding clinician.” Faculty members normally accept one or two of these roles and the FDP Committee will assist faculty to excel in their chosen track. The members of the FDP Committee will work with the leadership of the department and of the divisions in order to help faculty members align their priorities of academic activities with those of the division/department because such action is the most predictive tool.