Purpose. To characterize the responsibilities, activities, and scholarly productivity of internal medicine clerkship directors (CDs). Methods. In 1999, internal medicine CDs from 122 U.S. medical schools and one Canadian medical school were surveyed. The instrument asked about the CDs' demographics, workloads, clerkship characteristics, and scholarly productivity. Results. The response rate was 89%; 72% of the respondents were men. Mean age was 45 years, mean time as CD was 6.5 years, and 58% of the CDs had completed fellowship training. The CDs spent 28% of their professional time on the clerkship, three half days weekly in clinic, and three months on inpatient services. The CDs had published a mean of 2.2 (range 0-20) articles and received a mean of 0.7 (range 0-4) grants. Similar factors were associated with publishing articles and receiving grants; gender (men), ≤ three clinic half days weekly, fellowship training, having a faculty development program, teaching other courses, and discussing expectations with their department chairs. In a multivariate analysis, fellowship training, clinic half days, teaching other courses, and discussing expectations explained 22% of the variance for papers published. For grants received, a model with gender, clinic half days, a faculty development program, discussing expectations, and teaching other courses explained 35% of the variance. Conclusions. An internal medicine CD invests significant effort administering the clerkship and contributing to clinical and educational activities. The factors associated with successful scholarship may be useful for fostering CDs' academic careers.
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