Characteristics influencing career decisions of academic and nonacademic emergency physicians

Arthur B. Sanders, John V. Fulginiti, Donald B. Witzke, Kathleen A. Bangs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Study objective: To determine characteristics motivating physicians to choose careers in academic and nonacademic emergency medicine. Design: A written survey of 1,017 active members of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and of a random sample of 2,000 members of the American College of Emergency Physicians was performed. Questions were asked regarding medical school, residency, and fellowship training; the importance of specific factors in influencing career decisions; and perceived obstacles to emergency medicine research. Responses from nonfaculty and adjunct, clinical, and research faculty were compared using χ2 analysis for discrete variables and a four-group analysis of variance for continuous variables. Interventions: None. Measurements and main results: Responses were obtained from 1,203 physicians (41.3%). Those choosing academic careers were significantly more likely to complete a residency in emergency medicine or internal medicine and fellowship training in research or toxicology compared with nonacademic physicians. Nonfaculty and clinical faculty considered family obligations, leisure time, and personal income to be the most important factors influencing their career decisions; research faculty considered role models and the value of research to be most important. There was no difference in indebtedness among the groups. Finding time and funding, administrative obligations, and pressures to do clinical work were the most important obstacles to research productivity. Conclusion: Factors influencing career decisions can be used to plan strategies to meet the future needs of academic emergency medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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