Consideration of the role of voluntary clinical faculty in academic health centers has been infrequent, characterized in part by a lack of data and certainly by lack of a sense of urgency as to how and where voluntary faculty should fit into teaching programs.
The topic is both important and timely for several reasons. First, voluntary faculty should figure importantly in planning for the future, since such individuals obviously represent a talent pool of considerable size that should be deployed as intelligently and effectively as possible. Second, full-time faculty are increasingly pushed, for fiscal reasons, toward patient care activities at levels beyond those intrinsic to their core academic needs and, in many cases, perhaps beyond their interests in clinical practice. This trend has underscored the importance of protecting full-time faculty from excessive clinical demands for the sake of their other academic responsibilities. It has also heightened awareness of the "softness"
Barondess JA. Voluntary Clinical Faculty: The Hope of the Future? Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(2):338–340. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350020164029
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