The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation logo for print

6359 Tribute Lane
Dora, AL 35062

Phone: 205-648-8429
Cell: 205-566-6090

Contact Us
a Member


S. Calvin Thigpen, MD
S. Calvin Thigpen, MD

Clinician Educators (CE) are a growing and vital segment of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (SSCI). By definition, CEs are physician faculty members (M.D. or D.O.) who spend the vast majority of their professional time delivering direct patient care and teaching students, residents, fellows, and other health care professionals in-training in one or more clinical settings. They also fill each of the following vital roles:

  • Instructors in non-clinical settings (e.g., classroom and small group teaching, simulation sessions, learner preparation for standardized examinations, and presentations and writing projects)
  • Evaluators of learner performance critical to learner development, and they are the primary
  • Role models, career mentors and advisors for clinical trainees
  • Program, clerkship, or fellowship directors (or their associate and assistant directors)
  • Core faculty for GME programs
  • Members of key educational committees related not only to educational programs, but also to quality and safety, waste reduction, medical school and program accreditation, and clinical operations
  • Researchers or question writers for the USMLE, ITE, and ABMS specialty and subspecialty exams
  • Committee members for non-profit professional organizations

Using this broad definition, CEs constitute over 90% of the full-time faculty of U.S. allopathic medical schools and are indispensable to medical education.

Career advancement is often not as clearly defined for CEs as it is for physician scientists. CEs must produce scholarship sufficient for promotion (and sometimes tenure), but typically have little non-clinical "protected" time to do so and rarely if ever obtain competitive funding from extramural sources. On-site mentors and advisors to assist CEs along their career paths are lacking at many institutions, forcing young educators to the internet, publications, and national meetings for insight and guidance.

Several years ago, the SSCI, realizing the importance of CEs to the future of academic medicine, created an Educator Track to full membership. In addition, a workshop series "Career Advancement for Clinician Educators" became a part of the Southern Regional Meetings (SRM). A second workshop was subsequently added that allowed for a focus both on bigger picture strategic issues and also on day-to-day tactical skills required for advancement. Topics have included career planning, choosing projects, achievement documentation, performing educational research, scholarship for promotion, mentoring, provision of feedback and evaluation, bedside rounding, balancing supervision and autonomy, and time management for wellness. An abstract category including Education, Ethics and Advocacy has also been added to the scientific sessions. SSCI has provided an ever growing content for CEs at our annual meeting, and we look forward to the continued growth of this segment of our offerings and of our membership in the coming years.

S. Calvin Thigpen, MD, FSSCI, FACP
President, SSCI
Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine
University of Mississippi Medical Center


1Geraci SA, Babbott SF, Buranosky R, Devine DR, Hollander H, Kovach RA, Berkowitz L. AAIM Report on Master Teachers/Clinician Educators Part 1: Need and Skills. APM Perspectives. Am J Med. 2010 Aug;123(8):769-773. PMID# 20670734

2Geraci SA, Hollander H, Babbott SF, Buranosky R, Devine DR, Kovach RA, Berkowitz L. AAIM Report on Master Teachers/Clinician Educators Part 4: Faculty Role and Scholarship. APM Perspectives. Am J Med. 2010 Nov;123(11):1065-1069. PMID# 21035595

Related Information


The SSCI Thanks Its Sponsors

  • Elsevier sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation