Background: Clerkship directors (CDs) ensure that medical students achieve the core clinical skills needed to be effective physicians. Recently guidelines for time and support for U.S. CDs have been published by the Alliance for Clinical Education. Purpose: This article reviews 14 published surveys of CDs in seven specialties and assesses CDs' personal characteristics, scholarship, and support for their position. Methods: Investigators reviewed CD surveys conducted over the last 12 years from seven different specialties. Comparisons were made of CDs demographics, departmental and school support, time allotted to the position, and publication rates. Results: Department support was generally good, but school support was often felt to be lacking. The number of publications was relativelylow.Timeallottedforthepositionwaslowerthanthe50% recommended in all specialties. Conclusions: Many CDs do not feel adequately supported by time or resources. Future studies need to more closely define what support is needed and what impact CD characteristics, scholarship, and resources have on medical student education.
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