Academic promotion packages: crafting connotative frames

Lara Varpio*, Christina St.Onge, Meredith Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Among the challenges of navigating the promotion and tenure (P&T) process is the need to describe one’s career using the language of P&T expectations, while also framing that language to reflect the unique work involved in health professions education (HPE) scholarship. Drawing on the distinction between denotative and connotative meanings of words, we describe how the language of P&T standards can hold different meanings depending on how they are contextualized in the HPE field and the communities therein. To illustrate, we describe our experiences of adapting the language of ‘teaching’ to the expectations of the P&T committee while also reflecting the non-traditional ‘teaching’ we do in HPE. We also share three practical tips for navigating the P&T process: (1) find a local mentor, (2) craft the story of your expertise, and (3) seek feedback from your local stakeholders on the connotative story you have crafted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-357
Number of pages4
JournalPerspectives on Medical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Health professions education
  • Scholarship
  • Teaching
  • Tenure and promotion


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