The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is on the market.
There are currently 61 open faculty positions for SMHS and the Medical Faculty Associates posted through GW’s jobs website, almost double from this time last year. SMHS officials said the increase is due to a higher demand for services and the need to support initiatives within the school.
Those 61 openings also make up more than half of all the open faculty positions at GW. Out of the SMHS openings, 16 are in medicine school instruction, six are in the department of surgery and five are in obstetrics and gynecology instruction.
Raymond Lucas, the associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development at SMHS, said in an email that SMHS is adding to its faculty to meet the demands of patient care and to support educational and research missions of the school.
“The increased numbers are mainly related to increased demand for clinical services, our desire to increase our research footprint and to continue to support excellent educational programs in medicine and health sciences,” Lucas said.
Lucas said that in addition to recruiting potential hires through traditional methods like advertising in print and online academic journals, SMHS is also attempting to recruit “underrepresented minorities.”
“Additionally, as part of our diversity and inclusion efforts, we also advertise our faculty openings in publications and with organizations geared toward underrepresented minorities in medicine and science,” Lucas said.
Lucas said SMHS boasts a low faculty attrition rate of less than 5 percent per year. SMHS hires faculty members when they are needed to support strategic initiatives, and the recruitment process can take up to a year because the medical school is competing with schools from across the country, he added.
“Competition to recruit top faculty is keen and some searches may take a year,” Lucas said. “This is particularly true in some medical subspecialties and in clinical programs in the Health Sciences.”
GW approved a University-wide strategic plan in 2013 that called for new interdisciplinary research centers and courses and hiring 50 to 100 new, research-minded faculty members. There are currently 12 open research positions in the school, the same amount that were open at this time last year.
SMHS is known as one of the most selective medical schools in the country and ranks No. 67 for research by U.S. News & World Report.
Last year SMHS and the MFA were attempting to fill 32 open faculty positions. Out of the 61 currently open faculty positions, only eight have been posted within the last month.
Joanne Lenert, an assistant professor of surgery who has been at SMHS for 14 years, said she has seen delays as the school has tried to hire new faculty for her department.
“There is a big delay for when we want to hire someone and until the proper authorities have approved it,” Lenert said. “We have actually lost some people because we couldn’t come up with the offer in time.”
The department of surgery has six open positions listed on the jobs website. Lenert said the new hires do not directly benefit her and her work, but are generally good for the school.
“It doesn’t affect my practice per se, but it affects how much available time there is in the clinic and in the operating room,” Lenert said. “In general, it is a good thing. We are getting good people and growing the faculty which I think is one of the goals in the surgery department.”
This article appeared in the November 2, 2015 issue of the Hatchet.