Monday, April 1, 2013

Simone's Maxims: Understanding Academic Medical Centers

The Ivory Tower
Recently a colleague tipped me off on a 1999 paper titled Understanding Academic Medical Centers: Simone's Maxims. I recommend anyone associated with an academic medical center to read, study and learn the truths in this manuscript. Of the many relevant and seemingly timeless points, here are a few:

Institutions Don’t Love You Back. True. And, on further thought, it is the relationships with people, staff and select colleagues at an institution that make the experience memorable and meaningful, not the institution itself.
For Academic Leaders, the Last 10% of Job Accomplishment May Take as Much Time as the First 90% and May Not Be Worth the Effort. Absolutely. Know when to leave the party, preferably while the party's still full.
Faculty Fired for Incompetence Will Almost Always Land a Better Job at Higher Pay. Eyeopening.
With Rare Exceptions, the Appropriate Maximum Term for an Academic Leader/Administrator Is 10 Years, Plus or Minus 3 Years. This must be why, subconsciously, I bowed out of the Internal Medicine Clerkship Directorship at 7 years.
Leaders Are Often Chosen Primarily for Characteristics That Have Little or No Correlation with a Successful Tenure as Leader. Being a good clinician or researcher does not always translate into a successful leader or team manager.
Academic Battles Are Recurring and Continuous, and No One Can Win Them All. Definitely, pick your battles wisely. No one can go undefeated in either life or sport.
Last,  Academic Medicine Is a Noble Calling. Yes! I could not agree more.

I would encourage you to read the full manuscript. It is most enlightening.

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