The UNC Department of Surgery enjoys a national reputation for advancing scholarship through excellence in practice, education, research, and service. Development of both tenure-track and clinical faculty occurs through mentoring programs and through the provision of resources and opportunities. Since a clinical perspective characterizes the Department, faculty in the clinical track represent the core of the Department’s overall mission of achieving excellence in clinical care whereas those in the tenure track provide clinical care with emphasis on surgical scientific advancement.

The Department strives to help all faculty members achieve successful careers, realizing that career goals are highly individualized and continually in the process of re-adjustment. In a period of escalating demands for ever-multiplying types of time-intensive efforts, it is important that there be a coordinated, departmental support system to help faculty identify, keep in focus, and achieve their career goals. It is for this reason that a faculty career development program for the Department of Surgery has been instituted: to assist faculty members in achieving career development goals in clinical care, research, education, administration, and/or community outreach.

This program does not supplant the role of the Chair or Chiefs in this effort, nor assume for them their responsibilities in this regard. Instead, this program intends to make existing efforts better and more understandable to the faculty and to those considering faculty positions. The Career Development Program focuses on faculty in their first ten years at UNC, but is not limited to that group. It provides not only direction but to be successful, it is dependent on participation from all faculty members.

The Program represents a formalized process by which the resources of the Department, intellectual and other, are made available for facilitation. While linked to promotion within the School of Medicine as a legitimate career and development goal, the Program is viewed in the broader context of career development. The program has developed as an expansion of existing activities with appropriate focus on the responsible parts of the organization. In the last analysis, however, the opportunity to serve on the Surgery faculty represents freedom and responsibility to develop one’s own skills and individuality, within a supportive infrastructure of facilitation.