Growing as a new teacher: Tips for educators early in their careers

By Benjamin Levin, MD

For new medical educators developing their career is important, here are 12 tips to help young early career medical educators get their careers started.

  1. Articulate your areas of interests

Ask yourself “what kind of career do I want?” use this as a starting point to set up your career and see how you can fit the needs of your institution

  1. Define what success means to you

Think about the goals of your career, both personal and professional

  1. Create a 5-year strategic plan

Take your career trajectory and goals and set out milestones and steps to achieve your goals

  1. Develop strong communication skills

The ability to craft a message to effectively reach an audience is a vital skill; set aside dedicated time for working on communication.

  1. Cultivate relationships with mentors

Mentors help with ideas, career development and can help you navigate academic medicine

  1. Be a good mentee

Respect your mentor’s commitment to you and use it effectively

  1. Build a network of peers

Colleagues can help with personal or professional challenges; expand beyond your department and training background

  1. Craft multiple elevator pitches

You have multiple audiences and need multiple pitches, retain the interest of the listener

  1. Be a team player

This starts before you become a faculty member

  1. Build resilience as your armor

Life isn’t fair or easy, be adaptive, be persistent and overcome the challenges

  1. Understand that medical education is a field not a discipline

A field brings people together; this can provide opportunities and challenges

  1. Embrace your identity as part of the medical education field

You are a contributor to the community of scholars; strive for the best quality in your work

These steps can help an early career medical educator develop their career but as time progresses go back and review these to help your continued development as an academic physician.

Sources: Cristancho S, Varpio L. Twelve tips for early career medical educators. Med Teach. 2016 Apr;38(4):358-63. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2015.1062084. Epub 2015 Oct 22. PubMed PMID: 26492100

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