William Schaffner, MD
William Schaffner, MD

The Schaffner society is named for William Schaffner, MD, Professor and Chairman of Preventive Medicine and Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Schaffner has made many fundamental and guiding observations on infectious diseases, their detection, prevention and management as they impact individuals and society. This capacity to observe, analyze and report important findings represents an approach to medicine that all clinicians and scientists could well emulate, and be a goal for a career with lasting impact on the practice of medicine.


Teaching excellence is essential and is established from department records, course directors' records, evaluations by trainees and the receipt of teaching awards. Teaching is also demonstrated by invitations to lecture at other medical centers in the region or nationally, and by participation in courses at the local, regional and national level. Productivity in education is also measured through development or leadership of educational programs or curricula, evaluation and dissemination of such programs or curricula nationally.  Committee service in professional societies, especially in the planning and implementation of educational functions is another marker of productivity in education.

Education Portfolio:

  • New courses developed or major course leadership
  • Teaching activities at Vanderbilt  - lectures, courses, individual instruction
  • New educational programs that complement ongoing courses or curricula
  • Evaluation of teaching - peers/learners, by surveys/letters, teaching awards
  • Teaching materials developed or improved - local or published
  • Invited lectures outside of Vanderbilt, including specialty medical societies, academic medical centers, regionally and nationally.
  • Extramural lectures related to the process or implementation of educational programs


Productivity in scholarship is measured through original peer-reviewed papers, reviews, chapters, case reports, editorials or letters. The committee on appointments and promotions (COAP) recognizes the broad range of scholarly activity appropriate in the Clinician Educator track. Grant support, when available, is likely to come from federal or privately funded clinical studies in which the candidate is a participant or a leading investigator. Significant contributions to scholarly activity can be achieved by successful participation or leadership in clinical trials, enrollment of patients, registry/epidemiological studies, and participation leading to authorship in published manuscripts. The CE faculty should demonstrate significant participation in such research activities, including in study design, implementation, or statistical analysis. Chairing or serving on the steering, planning or outcomes committees for the study, playing a key role in capturing or analysis of data or authorship on manuscripts, would demonstrate this. Promotion to Associate Professor in the CE track should be supported by a record of scholarship, which complements other exemplary productivity in Education or Service.

Scholarship Portfolio:

  • Extra- or intramural supported research (cite source of support and participation)
  • Publications: original investigations, clinical trials and observations, reviews, books, and book chapters
  • Popular writings or lay press contributions
  • Web site/software development
  • Patient education materials
  • Publications related to teaching and learning
  • Membership in committees of the candidates specialty society
  • Invited extramural  lectures related to the candidates  area of scholarship


Service is a broad term which encompasses a wide range of professional activities. Achievement in service sufficient for promotion on the CE track must be of such a nature as to make significant, special contributions to the missions of the school. Examples include:  1) Evidence of influence on the practice of medicine not only within the institution but also at regional or national levels as reflected in the individual's clinical referral and consultative activities 2) Introduction of innovative advances to clinical medicine which reflect the candidate's status as being on the "cutting edge" of clinical management. 3) Participation in establishing and maintaining regional and national standards of care and management as evidenced by membership on a specialty board, residency review committee, regional or national commissions, examination committees.4) Objectively measured achievements in quality and process improvement projects and programs, 5) Leadership in governance, policy development and University outreach, 6) Extramural consultation with institutions outside of the University that enhances the mission of the University and Medical School, 7) Leadership in community based programs and that serve community needs while enhancing the mission of the University and Medical Center.

Service Portfolio:

  • Development and/or leadership of significant new and/or innovative clinical programs (e.g., medical director of a clinical center) that measurably improve the effectiveness, efficiency, safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness or equity in health care delivery
  • Development and/or leadership of significant new and/or innovative clinical support programs (e.g., medical director of medical records, IRB, pharmacy and therapeutics committee, quality improvement program) that measurably improve the effectiveness, efficiency, safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness or equity in health care delivery.
  • Relevant measures include patient, employee and/or faculty satisfaction; quality of care indicators; costs of care.
  • Training Program leadership.
  • Other unusual and exceptional contributions to the mission of the University and Medical School through service.