Traveling for Work

A reality of academic medicine is that, to be successful, you will need to travel. An important component of your promotion package is several letters of recommendation from faculty who are senior to you, and from other institutions. Some of the original faculty who helped you develop your area of expertise may write letters for you. Another way to meet and network with potential letter writers is to attend conferences in your field.

Typically, academic physicians travel to national or international conferences to network, to present their own work, and/or to participate in the leadership of medical organizations. Many of us view travel as a benefit of our academic jobs. But when you are in your reproductive years or you have small children at home, the concomitant demands of traveling for work and parenting can pose significant logistical challenges. If you do travel, you will have to make plans for your child(ren), whether they come with you or they stay at home. If you decide not to travel, you are likely to miss out on important career opportunities. Though the logistics of being away from home for work can be daunting, there are some creative solutions.


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