Guidelines for Becoming a Professor of Medicine

A career as a professor of medicine could be appealing to people who are passionate about both education and medicine. Professors of medicine educate students interested in a profession in medicine about medical practices and theories. You can find out more about the obligations and tasks of a professor of medicine to determine if this is the correct career for you. In this post, we’ll talk about what a professor of medicine is, what they do, and the steps involved in becoming one.

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What exactly is a professor of medicine?

A person who instructs college-level medical courses is known as a professor of medicine. They might be employed by a university, city college, medical teaching facility, or medical school. Medical educators create and develop curricula to instruct students in neurology, anatomy, biochemistry, immunology, physiology, and pharmacology-related medical concepts. Although some professors of medicine hold a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and work as practicing doctors in addition to their full-time teaching duties, other professors hold a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and have an in-depth understanding of medical theories.

What is the job of a professor of medicine?

The responsibilities of a professor of medicine include:

  • Creating a syllabus for a course at a university
  • Increasing students’ participation in class
  • Teaching medical terminology
  • Encouraging dialogue in the class
  • Tracking Students’ Development
  • Making educational materials
  • Creating and delivering lectures for classes
  • Assessing student work
  • Providing academic coaching

Payscale for a professor of medicine

Since there is no wage information available for professors of medicine, the following list of related positions’ national average salaries may be of interest:

  • Medical assistant: $36,596 annually
  • Professor: $63,238 annually
  • Internal medicine doctor: $186,569 annually
  • Physician: $245,964 annually

Skills as a professor of medicine

Below are some skills that medical instructors might employ regularly:


Because they interact with students who might be completely new to medical topics, professors of medicine must have strong written and vocal communication abilities. It’s crucial that you, as a professor of medicine, explain concepts to your pupils in the most understandable way possible.

Since many students contact professors via email to inquire about tests, explain ideas, or address grading problems, teachers also need to possess great written communication skills.


The ability to inspire students to attain their goals is a leadership quality that professors of medicine should have. It is a professor’s responsibility to motivate students to persevere because medical school frequently involves a heavy burden. By providing constructive criticism to students or by writing letters of reference for students who are applying to graduate school, professors can demonstrate leadership.

Time management

The ability to effectively teach pupils difficult medical topics within the specified class time is a requirement for professors of medicine. Given the intricate nature of the health sector, teaching medical topics may require several hours or classes, therefore lecturers should schedule their lectures appropriately.

Medical expertise

Professors of medicine must have a thorough understanding of the medical area to instruct students. Professors may specialize in a subject of study or research for which they are recognized as leaders.

Guidelines for Becoming a Professor of Medicine

These are five stages to help you become a professor of medicine:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for becoming a professor of medicine. A bachelor’s degree in biology, nursing, human physiology, biochemistry, or biomedical engineering is typically required of professors. You can decide the medical specialty you want to pursue while finishing your undergraduate degree.

Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, start getting ready for graduate school by submitting applications, looking into graduate schools, speaking with professors, and creating research studies in your area of interest. After earning your bachelor’s, you can choose if you want to get a Ph.D. or an MD.

2. Choose a field of study to specialize in

A person who wants to become a professor of medicine must select a subject to teach and start developing their competence in it, usually by doing so while completing their undergraduate degree, but this isn’t always the case. Future professors can enhance their knowledge and abilities by enrolling in an internship program while still an undergraduate in addition to taking courses in a particular subject area.

3. Get a graduate degree

You must obtain a graduate degree after completing your undergraduate studies. Choose graduate programs that meet your academic goals, such as the area of medicine you’d like to specialize in or the degree level you’re aiming for. An MD or a Ph.D. is required for medical professors to be eligible for teaching at the collegiate level. An MD and a Ph.D. differ primarily in the following ways:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD) programs: Often involving classroom and medical experience, MD course prepares students to pursue jobs in medicine that involve diagnosing and treating ailments as well as consulting with patients. Although MD programs give you expertise in the field, getting an MD is advantageous if you want to teach classes that require clinical and laboratory work.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): To obtain a Ph.D., you must conduct original research and publish your findings in a thesis or dissertation. A Ph.D. in a medically relevant discipline, such as immunology, pharmacology, or neurology, is sometimes obtained by medical professors. As Ph.D. programs are highly research-based, earning one is advantageous for anyone who wants to teach healthcare theories and principles.

3. Expand your network

As a college lecturer, there are various ways to expand your network. Making friends with your peers while pursuing your undergraduate and graduate degrees is one method to do this. As your classmates start their medical practices or start teaching in institutions, this can help you keep in touch. Joining organizations for medical professors, such as the Association of Professors of Medicine (APM) or the Professor’s Medical Society, is another effective strategy for expanding your network.

4. Take part in an assistantship

Students interested in becoming professors should take part in their school’s assistantship scheme during their graduate years. An assistantship is a type of financial aid that enables students to receive partial or full tuition remission and a stipend while gaining professional experience under the supervision of a professor of medicine. Students who take on assistantships occasionally have the opportunity to receive graduate credit hours toward their degree.

Based on the academic department a student is in, various types of assistantships are offered. Students who work as research assistants can carry out specific tasks like gathering, recording, and interpreting research data. Teaching assistants take part in educational activities such as presenting lectures in class, grading examinations, and assignments, and interacting with students during office hours. Administrative assistants collaborate with academic department employees and carry out tasks like presenting presentations, assessing departmental programs, and counseling students on their academic and professional goals.

Students will be required to put in a certain amount of hours per week of work regardless of the type of assistantship they take part in.

5. Acquire experience

Both teaching and clinical experience are necessary for a professor of medicine. You can volunteer at a hospital to carry out small chores like calling patients or providing food in hopes of gaining medical experience while you are finishing your bachelor’s degree. Check online for volunteer opportunities or give your neighborhood hospitals a call to see if they need volunteers.

Many institutions offer assistant educational programs, which can give students useful experience in carrying out daily responsibilities for professors like evaluating assignments or making lesson plans. If you work as an assistant teacher for a professor of medicine, you can observe how they design their courses to demonstrate medical procedures and promote student involvement in labs.

6. Write articles in your field

It’s crucial to publish research in the medical discipline that pertains to your teaching specialty if you are interested in becoming a professor of medicine. Publishing research in your area of expertise increases your trustworthiness as a professor of medicine and helps keep you informed of the most recent developments in medicine.

7. Acquire postdoctoral experience

Post-doctoral experience is recommended for people who want to compete successfully for professorships. This enables those who have earned a Ph.D. to carry out original research and start to compile a list of papers published in scholarly journals.

Post-doctoral posts often last up to three years at a university or college. This kind of experience may be required of candidates for positions teaching in the scientific fields of biology, chemistry, and physics.

Employment prospects

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for college professors will increase by 9% between 2019 and 2029, which is good news for job seekers. The sort of institution professors work for is one of many variables that affect their pay. For instance, teachers at state universities make $79,340 on average, compared to $77,170 for teachers at private universities and colleges. Furthermore, academics employed by neighborhood junior colleges earn a median salary of $76,890, while instructors at state junior colleges earn $56,030.

Professors have a promising future in employment. Professors are expected to rise by 15% between 2016 and 2026, according to projections from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. This is a quicker growth rate than the average for all other professions. The anticipated rise in students who will go on to college in the upcoming years is the cause of this job boom for professors.

There are a few limitations to these estimates, though. It’s vital to keep in mind that many of these posts won’t be for full-time tenured professors, but rather for part-time lecturers. Also, state finances will have a direct impact on employment opportunities at public universities and colleges. Also, the rates of growth for various academic fields will vary.

Do I need to have professional experience in the field I want to teach?

Several universities prefer instructors who have practical experience in their areas of competence in addition to those with solid academic knowledge. This means that prospective teachers should have experience in the subject matter they wish to teach. For instance, academics who wish to instruct courses in law, medicine, the arts, or education are sometimes required to have some practical experience.

Is a license required to work as a professor of medicine?

The same license should be held by professors who deal with students who need to obtain a license in to seek employment, like teachers or nurses. The state in which the professor works and their area of specialization determine the license criteria.

Should I become a member of a professional organization?

Professors can network with one another, meet possible employers, and keep up with changes in their field of study by joining professional groups. The American Association of Adjunct Education, the American Association of University Professors, the American College Personnel Association, the Academy for Academic Leadership, and the National Education Association are a few professional organizations that they can join.

Choosing a Postsecondary Education Program

Enrolling in quality education programs yourself is a requirement for those aspiring to become professors. This section contains details on the courses that prospective postsecondary teachers take to get ready for the teaching profession.

One of the most crucial decisions a potential postsecondary school teacher would ever make is picking the correct school. Students evaluate their alternatives based on the cost of tuition, the duration of the course, and the licenses and certificates they can obtain upon graduation.

Higher Education Organizations & Associations

Future and present academics can build their networks and learn about the most recent developments in the field of study by joining organizations and associations for higher education. The organizations listed below are just a few that professors can join to advance their careers.

American Association of University Professors

This group is committed to fostering high expectations in higher education by creating and disseminating best practices. With webinars, training courses, teaching toolkits, handbooks, and periodicals, AAUP members can hone their talents. The association also provides coverage and discounts on beneficial resources.

American Association of Community Colleges

Advocating for and educating about the requirements of state schools. Members have networking opportunities at the group’s annual conference, access to publications with the most recent research in the area, and possibilities for professional growth.

American College Personnel Association

This group has assisted employees at both public and private institutions around the nation since 1924. The organization provides leadership development programs, a job portal, seminars, trade journals, and professional networking events.

Association on Higher Education and Disability

This association promotes the needs of people with impairments in higher education. through publications, seminars, workshops, and webinars, and provides information on the problems that persons with disabilities confront.

National Education Association

This organization caters to the requirements of teachers employed in public schools, from those who work with young children to those who have graduated from college. Lesson plans, suggestions for managing the classroom, and pedagogical techniques are among the tools available to members.

Academic Leadership Academy

An institution that fosters the development of leadership skills in students. Offers workshops, educational initiatives, and consultancy services.

Adjunct Education American Association

Offers part-time faculty members and adjunct lecturers professional development opportunities. Organizes a yearly conference to assist members in gaining new knowledge and connecting.

Materials for Professors

Good educational skills are essential for professionals who want to work in education. The sites listed below can be used by professors to find the most recent data in their areas of expertise.

NEA – Higher Education Faculty & Staff

Resources exclusively for persons in higher education are available on this page from the website of the National Education Association.

Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Journal that is geared toward black higher education employees.

In Higher Education

A publication with articles about postsecondary learning, job ads, and career guidance for professors.

Institutional Research Association

This website offers information on postsecondary learning, in addition to novel techniques and chances for professional growth.

Life as a professor at a small liberal arts college

A genuine portrayal of how it feels to be a college lecturer may be found in this article from the magazine Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Juggling Research and Teaching at a Small Liberal Arts College

The American Physiological Society’s website published an essay that provides readers with a glimpse of how it feels to teach while conducting scholarly research.

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

Includes news and updates on the direction of higher education policy.

Timely Tips for New College Teachers

An article in Psychology Today offers suggestions for aspiring college instructors.

What Exactly Is An Associate Professor Of Medicine?

An associate professor of medicine is a member of the medical faculty and has a substantial impact on the training of future doctors. They carry out nearly identical duties to those of full-time professors, including lesson planning, teaching, assessing student performance, and planning academic activities, even though they aren’t quite professors yet.

Associate professors may take part in faculty-wide research initiatives or other initiatives. They may join committees, much like other professors, and take on duties including overseeing internships, organizing paperwork, and carrying out other administrative duties.

A doctor who holds a valid medical license is necessary for employment as an associate professor of medicine. According to their state’s laws and the requirements of the medical school, they can additionally require a teaching license. To demonstrate that they are qualified for a teaching position, they must also demonstrate sufficient abilities to manage the classroom.

Medical associate professors earn an average salary of $152,000 a year. They typically progress to professorships after a while in this role and might take part in further faculty-related research projects.

What are the duties of an Associate Professor Of Medicine

Most associate professors of medicine need certain abilities to carry out their duties. We were able to focus on the most typical competencies for someone in this job by looking through resumes. We found that a majority of resumes listed communication, speaking, and writing abilities.

How To Get a Position as an Associate Professor Of Medicine

The initial thing to think about if you want to work in medicine as an associate professor of medicine is your level of education. According to our research, a bachelor’s degree is held by 25.9% of associate professors of medicine. We discovered that 16.0% of associate professors of medicine hold master’s degrees, which is higher education. It is feasible to become an associate professor of medicine with just a high school diploma or GED, even though the majority of them hold a college degree.

Types And Responsibility Of Associate Professor Of Medicine

An associate professor of medicine is responsible for carrying out a variety of duties. These obligations can change depending on a person’s particular employment, organization, or sector. The following are some typical duties of an associate professor of medicine:

  • Academic pulmonary/interventional doctor in the pulmonary division
  • Accordance to your qualifications and interests, take part in administrative and clinical research
  • Encourages and exemplifies successful cooperation between science

There are various categories of associate professors of medicine, such as:

Adjunct Professor

Salary on average: $98,821

There is a distinction between the adjunct professor of medicine who lectured your biochemistry I course and the professor of medicine who lectures your physics II class, if you’re wondering whether that makes sense. Normally, an adjunct lecturer is employed under a contract.

An adjunct professor of medicine performs substantially the same duties as a normal professor of medicine, even though it might not be permanent employment. An adjunct professorship is a wonderful place to start if you want to work as a professor full-time in the future because it involves preparing a syllabus, instructing the class, hosting office hours, and grading assessments. Or, you know, if you only require a small amount of side income.


Salary on average: $157,570

Academic leaders in higher education institutions include professors. Over several years of the technical degree, they get a thorough understanding of their subject matter. They then impart that information to others via lectures they organize, utilizing the proper texts and staying current on the subject’s most recent trends and advancements.

In addition to teaching, they often perform research, examining issues that haven’t been fully covered in their field of specialization. To stay abreast of their peers’ research, they read publications, go to conferences, and publish their discoveries and critical essays in scholarly journals.

The provision of services within their department, like student evaluation, conference planning, grant proposal writing, and journal editing, is a significant component of their profession. In addition to managing graduate students, they help create the course materials. Many people who are drawn to academia aspire to become professors. To succeed in this lovely and gratifying career, you must have a lot of passion and perseverance because the competition is tough.

Faculty Member

Salary on average: $102,849

A faculty member, usually known as a professor, teaches pupils about academic or professional subjects. Their main responsibilities include creating lesson plans, delivering content in the classroom or via hands-on activities, evaluating students’ learning, and offering aid or direction to students as needed.

A faculty member’s duties also include working with other faculty members, maintaining student records, and creating recommendations for students. Faculty members study books on their own time, attend conferences, and carry out research to further their knowledge in addition to instructing students.

Faculty members often hold a master’s or doctoral degree in their subjects from universities or colleges. Before becoming a full-fledged member of the faculty or professor, they must also possess a teaching license and the necessary classroom experience. Although it is not often necessary for entry-level positions, prior teaching experience is a huge plus.

A faculty member also needs to be very skilled in cooperation, communication, time management, classroom organization, and teaching. Also, they must be passionate about educating young people and patient enough to work with a large class of pupils every day.

A faculty member makes $82,000 annually on average. With more knowledge and expertise, faculty members’ potential earnings can rise.


An important development in a doctor’s academic career is obtaining a medical professorship. Although becoming a professor of medicine has its challenges, it also comes with a great deal of duty, honor, and obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Professor of Medicine

  • What distinguishes a professor from a person with a Ph.D.?

As opposed to Prof., which is a rank associated with university teaching, Ph.D. is a terminal degree.

  • How can I apply to be an Australian medical professor?

To be eligible for the position of Professor, several colleges demand a doctorate or a (3–7 years) Ph.D. degree. This is so that the degree can attest to your subject-matter competence and provide you with academic and professional experience.

  • How does one become a professor in Germany?

After receiving your Ph.D., you must utilize the time to become “eligible for professorship” (Berufungsfähigkeit) if you want to teach at a German university. Your postdoctoral qualification stage can vary greatly depending on your field of study, research interests, and academic goals.

  • A Ph.D. or DR, which is superior?

A Ph.D. is not superior to a professional doctorate, no. If you’re asking if a professional doctorate or a Ph.D. is superior, both degrees represent the pinnacle of academic achievement. They are both Ph.D. degrees.