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Practical (but unexciting) career development tips

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of leading a session for our Women in Burns virtual group discussing care and maintenance of one’s C.V.. The reality is that it’s the best common currency we have for demonstrating our professional achievements, and my experience tells me that particularly as women that we often omit or understate things we have done. Hint: that’s not helpful when applying for a new professional role or a promotion.

Rather than re-hashing what I had to say, I’ll just include a link to it here. I will also include a response to a question received off-line from a Very Smart Mentee who just completed general surgery training: No, as a resident or fellow (or even junior faculty member), you don’t need to have each of the sections on your C.V. Just don’t forget to add those you can’t populate yet when the time is right.

A question that also arose during the conversation was how should those trying to get promoted as an educator capture their work. The goal of the educator portfolio is to provide documentation of educational accomplishments, which should encompass not just teaching, but also administration and scholarship. Importantly, scholarship in education typically has a more broad definition based upon the work of Boyer and Glassick (summary document), and often education activities are not adequately captured by a traditional C.V. The educator’s portfolio is a supplement to the traditional C.V., and, again, is important in applications for positions or promotion, as well as for many education awards.

AAMC MedEdPortal has a terrific resource on educator portfolios that is open access, and that provides a good starting point for anyone who thinks they might need one. UCSF also has an excellent resource. It is important to remember that while most institutions will ask all faculty for a teaching portfolio during the promotion and tenure process, that the educator portfolio has a broader scope and is designed explicitly for individuals who identify as educators.

Arguably this may be my least “exciting” blog post ever. I hope it’s practical, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with follow up questions or suggestions.