PURPOSE: To determine perceptions of general internal medicine (GIM) division directors of the importance of and support for clinician-educators' (CEs') scholarship. METHOD: In 2010, the authors identified 127 accredited U.S. MD-granting medical schools with a GIM division, identified 144 GIM directors, and were able to survey 129 of them. Directors were asked to rate the importance of specific CE scholarly accomplishments for promotion from assistant to associate professor, to describe current research support for CEs, and to state how they would support the scholarly work of CEs if they had funding. RESULTS: Fifty-five directors (42.6%) from 52 institutions responded; there were no significant differences between responding and nonresponding schools. Curriculum development, presentations at national meetings and other institutions, review articles, and book chapters were rated as "most/very important" or "important/somewhat important" by over 90%. Approximately half rated published original peer-reviewed articles as "most/very important"; slightly less than half rated these "not important," a difference associated with having a specific CE track. If $100,000 per year were available to enhance the scholarly productivity of CEs, directors suggested spending it on faculty development, project coordination, protected time for CEs, and methodological and statistical support. CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide survey of GIM division directors confirms that academic CEs in GIM are judged on a wide variety of scholarly activities, many of which are consistent across institutions. However, academic GIM CEs need to understand their institutions' specific criteria, especially regarding the value placed on original, peer-reviewed publications.
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