Panel 8

Do we need an Algorithm or an Electronic Tool to Enhance the Selection Process of Academic Medical Chairs?

Chair: Milo Puhan, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the Epidemiology,
Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Vice Chair:     Dimitri Raptis, Resideny in Surgery, Depart.of Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland
Member:Tobias Mettler, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Information Management,
University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland)

The selection of medical chairs in academic institutions is an important process and a key task of deans and leaders of universities. Inadequate searches may result in a significant negative impact on the key strategic elements of a medical school and provoke repeated search efforts, increasing the costs of time, money, and effort. While the previous panels of the chair4medicine conference focused on specific characteristics of candidates for medical chairs, the aim of our panel was to identify the most suitable multiple criteria decision-making methods and computerized tools that synthesize these characteristics and support search committees in their candidate selection. Based on a scoping review of the literature, we identified the Analytical Hierarchy Process, as the most suitable multiple criteria decision-making method. Since no computerized tool was available we developed a new decision support system that fits the purpose of selecting academic medical chairs. The decision support system allows search committee members to weigh the relative importance of different requirements for the clinical chair position (e.g. clinical expertise, research record, leadership skills etc), to identify disagreement among committee members and to define the optimal candidate profile before any searching and evaluation is done (i.e. a priori). The decision support system also allows for more targeted identification of suitable candidates and for evaluating how well candidates fit with the required profile. While a decision support system does not take away any decisional power from the search committee, it may enhance the selection process of academic chairs with regards to transparency and consistency.

Fulltext of Panel 8 (PDF, 791 KB)

Algorithm / Electronic Tool