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Academic Advancement Guide

A career in academic physiatry gives you a pivotal role in patient care, research, teaching and administrative leadership - all of which create an exciting, intellectually stimulating work environment. One of the most rewarding aspects of academic physiatry is the personal and professional evolution you will experience. The AAP is your home for academic physiatry and we have the resources, programs and community to help you succeed. We hope you find the following guide helpful as you begin and progress through your career. You can learn even more in this informative video by Robert Irwin, MD, a member of the AAP's Education Committee.

Academic Advancement Through the AAP


Common Criteria to Become A: Clinical Instructor Assistant Professor Associate Professor Professor
Favorable Teaching and Peer Evaluations
The AAP Annual Meeting features courses to enhance teaching and mentoring skills. Professional networking relationships are also fostered to help promote positive collaborations with peers.
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Participant in Relevant Professional Organizations
Make AAP your academic home in physiatry, joining the ranks of over 1,800 leading physiatrists. AAP membership also includes membership to ISPRM - two memberships for the price of one.
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Assumption of Leadership or Service Roles
AAP members can serve on various committees, task forces, and boards throughout the year. Make a difference, meet like-minded people, and help the AAP build a strong future for our specialty.
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Local Recognition for Teaching Excellence, Clinical Research, or Academic Leadership
The AAP offers a Mentorship Program for physiatrists seeking guidance from experienced coaches to help optimize their regional opportunities to build a strong academic reputation and portfolio.
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Presentations at National and/or International Meetings
The AAP Annual Meeting consistently attracts 1,200+ attendees each year, and submitting a session proposal allows you to help build your network, gain recognition, and make an impact on the physiatry community.
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National and/or International Recognition for Excellence and Thought Leadership
The AAP awards 14+ PM&R professionals each year for their contributions to specialty of physiatry or the organization. The Program for Academic Leadership (PAL) is a three-year course to develop academic leadership skills in junior PM&R faculty through education and one-on-one mentoring.
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Developing and Maintaining Scholarly Programs
The AAP’s Virtual Campus is continually updated with new educational content including webinars, podcasts, journal articles, and MOC SAE activities.
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Commitment to Fulfilling the Institution’s Mission
The AAP gives you exclusive access to unique experiences designed to enhance leadership and academic success, career information, and resources to meet your needs and advance your career.
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Significant Impact in the Specialty
AAP membership is your link to a professional community — offering invaluable networking and peer interaction with leading professionals in academic physiatry.
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Publication in Peer-Reviewed Journals*
The AAP’s official journal, The American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AJPM&R), accepts peer-reviewed journal articles year-round. Publication in this journal will reach a readership of over 3,500 physiatrists.
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*A "Clinical Educator Track" for Professor level may exist at some institutions and does not always require peer-reviewed research publications as required of "Clinical Researcher Track" faculty. However, the clinical track emphasizes excellence in teaching and mandates evidence of creativity and scholarly work in addition to expecting participation (but not necessarily grant leadership) in research at all levels.