Academic Careers

Division Chiefs and Chairs

Resources, FAQs, sample templates, and tools specifically compiled for division chiefs and chairs.




The industry as a whole-from Medicare to commercial payers-is moving away from fee-based volume of care to reimbursement for improved outcomes of care or value-based care. View resources for transitioning.


Q. How do you recruit affectively?
A. The Current State and Future Possibilities of Recruiting Leaders of Academic Health Centers Academic Medicine: September 2012 - Volume 87 - Issue 9 - p 1171-1176

Q. How do you motivate for academic productivity?
A. Review these helpful resources:

Effective Organizational Control: Implications for Academic Medicine Academic Medicine: November 2005 - Volume 80 - Issue 11 - pp 1054-1063

Managing Faculty Productivity After Tenure American Association of University Professor (AAUP) October 24, 2005 Euben and Lee

Q. How do you deal with difficult faculty?
A. Review these helpful resources:

Responding to Workplace Bullying, the Role of HR HigherEdJobs October 4, 2013, by Daniel B. Griffith.

Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) offers a provincial framework for Managing Disruptive Behaviour in the Healthcare Workplace March 2013. Although these documents have specific points for other jurisdictions, the approach to dealing with disruptive physician behavior with a goal to improving the workplace for all, including the physician, is relevant for leaders.


Network with your peers, earn continuing medical education credits, and stay abreast of the latest developments in your field.


Hear fellow division chiefs and chairs discuss overcoming challenges, the best parts of their role, advice, and recommendations.

David Lee Gordon, MD, FAAN, Professor and Chair

Department of Neurology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

I love being a chair and I've wanted to be one since my first year as an assistant professor in 1991. At that time, I read two books that shaped my views of leadership: “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven R. Covey and “E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber.  After being stroke director at the University of Mississippi for eight years and assistant director at the University of Miami Center for Research in Medical Education for seven years, I actively sought a “head coaching” job in neurology and became chair of neurology at the University of Oklahoma at the age of 46 in January 2007.  Thus, I've been a chair for eight years.


Carlayne E. Jackson, MD, FAAN, Chief Medical Officer

UTMedicine San Antonio, University of Texas Health Science Center

I became a division chief by default-I was the only neuromuscular faculty for over 10 years and then we hired two junior faculty who I was asked to mentor. I went from having complete control over everything, to a new role in which I needed to help develop the academic careers of two very busy clinical faculty with young families. My biggest challenge was to match the strengths of each faculty with their interests and the needs of our patient/academic community. I had to learn to be strategic rather than tactical! The best advice I have is to sit down face to face at least once a month for lunch and prepare a written agenda (which everyone is invited to contribute to). We openly discuss challenges and trouble shoot. We review where we are now and what our "dream division" would look like. We review our current research projects and ideas for new studies. We try to have fun-there is always a cartoon on the agenda!


Richard Mayeux, MD, Chair

Department of Neurology, Columbia University

Being a chair is a critical responsibility. You represent your department's interest in every aspect of the medical center from clinical operations to basic research. It is a 24/7 job. Being the department chair was not a lifelong goal. In fact, 15 years earlier I had thought about being a chair, but decided against it for family reasons. The University and Hospital wanted a rapid transition and I was appointed through a very brief search.  One of the biggest challenges I've faced is that when I became chair we were faced with a historical deficit of nearly $7M and an annual deficit ranging from $2M to $3M. I had to close the gap and rebuild the department in a short amount of time. The best part of being a chair is that I truly enjoy helping young faculty grow into their careers.