Category: Faculty Applicant

Specifications Grading: My Experience

Early in the summer of 2020, I discovered the concept of specifications (or spec) grading.  I bought the book, which I reviewed earlier this week.  You need to read that book review to understand this post. I decided to apply spec grading to all three classes I was teaching in the fall: a 1-credit Intro

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Book Review: Specifications Grading

I was reading a news article at the Chronicle of Higher Ed a few weeks ago about remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There was a throw-away line under a subheading “High-stakes assessments are overrated” about using ungrading or specifications grading.  I had never heard of either of these, so followed the links provided about

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Giving Effective Feedback to Interns & Residents

This post was by request from an experienced clinician who is seeking more tips to improve giving feedback to advanced clinicians-in-training.  I don’t really have all the answers, but here are some ideas I hope will help. First, effective feedback has three fundamental requirements: it has to be timely, it has to be specific, and

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My Benefits are Better Than Your Benefits

Except for a one-year stint in private practice for my internship, all of my full-time work has been in academia.  I did work part-time for an emergency practice in Atlanta for years, but that was as an independent contractor, not a W2 employee.  I’ve always heard “Oh the benefits in academia are great!”  I never

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How to Address Peers

Sometimes, I feel a little bit like Miss Manners.  There are all sorts of unwritten rules of etiquette in veterinary medicine.  For example, did you know that faculty don’t refer to each other as “Dr.” outside of medicine?  I’ve written about how to address people during an interview, but I’ve been thinking, “How do we

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Assistant Professors: Don’t Get Sucked Into Clinics

You have recently finished your residency and (hopefully) passed your boards.  You are in your first professional faculty position as a clinician!  Your FTE probably has 30-60% of your time on clinic duty, with the balance being teaching, research, and (non-clinical) service.  If you are on a tenure track, you probably have some publication and

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My Process for Writing a Letter of Intent

I just finished writing a letter of intent for a position I applied to.  I thought it would be valuable to share my process, to serve as inspiration for you if you are stuck or struggling with what to write. Step 1) Review the job description.  I read through the entire job description, even though

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How to Include and Talk About Extracurricular Activities

I am a strong proponent of including extracurricular activities in applications and during interviews.  Every now and then, I will discover an activity someone does during an interview that wasn’t on their application.  I was in a student interview recently where it came out that the student was on the national gymnastics team, but this

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The Financial Implications of Private Practice vs. Academia

(This post was originally written as a guest post for Richer Life DVM. If you haven’t read her blog, you should. It’s a great resource about finances for veterinarians. And if you didn’t read it there first, it’s new to you!) In discussions among academic veterinarians attempting to recruit a new faculty member, salary is

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