To describe current professional activities, demographic profiles, and attitudes of directors of clerkships in university and community teaching sites.
Written surveys were mailed to departments of obstetrics and gynecology in the United States and Canada. Results were analyzed for differences in demographics, professional activities, and responses to statements describing career development of medical teachers and levels of institutional support.
Responses from 132 of 148 (89%) medical schools and 67 of 96 (70%) known community-based clerkship directors showed no significant differences between the two groups in demographics or professional responsibilities. Three-quarters were men. The mean age was 47 years, mean duration as a faculty member 11 years, and mean tenure as clerkship director 8 years. One-half had been a clerkship director less than 5 years. The average clerkship director reported working approximately 56 hours per week, of which 44% was devoted primarily to patient care, 24% to teaching, and 18% to administration. These faculty members describe the activities of their position as fulfilling and worthy of recognition in the academic promotions process.
Directors of clinical clerkships in obstetrics and gynecology in both university- and community-based programs spend about one-half of their time in teaching and administration. They find their work fulfilling and worthwhile. Profiles are consistent over time and comparable to those described by clerkship directors in other specialties.