Promoting Your Career Advancement through Research, Education and Social Media
By Christian S. Guay, MD, from the IARS, AUA and SOCCA 2019 Annual Meetings*
Academic medicine is both rooted in tradition and evolving in the age of the internet. In this Scholars’ Program session, Dr. Alex Evers and Dr. Ron George provided attendees with a conceptual framework and practical advice on how to leverage research, education and social media to promote career advancement in academic anesthesiology.
As a component of the Scholars’ Program, this session, Promoting Your Career Advancement through Research and Education, showcased various ways to promote career advancement for rising academic anesthesiologists, from mentorship and citations to re-tweets and shares.
Dr. George started the session with an overview of academic anesthesiology and social media. Almost half the world’s population uses social media, a figure that rises to 71% in the United States. Therefore, it’s no surprise that leading academic institutions and journals have started to increase their social media presence and engagement. Dr. George used the example of Twitter to discuss how social media can help rising academic anesthesiologists keep current with research, build collaborations, build a professional reputation and showcase thought leadership. Practical advice shared with attendees included having a professional and updated profile picture, using visual abstracts to showcase research, remaining professional at all times, becoming familiar with your institutional guidelines for public relations, and fostering dialogue rather than debate.
Reflecting on a long and successful career in academic medicine, Dr. Evers shared a complementary perspective on how to promote your career as an anesthesiologist. An overarching theme of Dr. Evers’ presentation was the pursuit of meaningful academic accomplishments instead of positions: “It’s not a race and there is no destination.” He also highlighted the importance of focusing on one or a few specific goals at a time to maximize the quality of your work and establish a consistent track record of completion. Assembling a group of mentors and sponsors is essential to formulating appropriate goals and achieving them. With the premise that peer-reviewed high impact publications are the currency of academia, Dr. Evers recommended focusing on publishing one first-authored original paper in a good journal every year, which will ultimately hold more value than a long series of middle-author papers, review articles and book chapters. In the interest of remaining focused and productive, he also advised attendees to avoid overloading themselves with administrative commitments, national committees and editorial responsibilities early in their careers. Regarding grants, Dr. Evers suggested a progression from institutional grants to foundations, NIH K and finally NIH R funding sources. Attendees were left with a final piece of advice regarding demeanor in academia: “think clearly, feel strongly, talk softly.”
*Coverage from Scholars’ Program: Promoting Your Career Advancement through Research and Education, presented by Alex Evers, MD, Ron George, MD, Michael Montana, MD, PhD, during the IARS 2019 Annual Meeting