The foundations of my empire at MECMC are beginning to be laid. I have been here now for about 18 months. After two consecutive good performance reviews, I am being promoted. It’s not a major promotion in terms of my job, from an institutional perspective. But it’s a big deal to me. I was asked to write the position description, and I did. And I specifically wrote into it that I will have time to write papers, and represent the institution externally at conferences and symposia, as well as representing my department at hospital-wide events like grand rounds and “Patient Safety Day” etc..
The new position comes with a better title. I picked it, but I’m not super happy with it. I’d like something clean, but there are a few institutional rules about broadcasting levels that require me to pick a particular prefix. And then it’s a matter of distinguishing myself from the IT positions that are engineers, while also hopefully having a title which will signify to grant reviewers and associate editors that I’m academically capable. I settled on a title similar to what I had at my last gig. Of course, now, writing this, I’ve thought of the perfect title and it’s too late.
Nevertheless. I am advancing. This is the first step on my way to having a small “department” of my own. Really a laboratory-sized group of people who will do simulation and quality research and practice at MECMC and disseminate broadly. My manager has said that come spring, we will be looking to hire people that will report to me personally, and I can begin directing larger projects and more comprehensive treatments of our systems.
Hopefully, this will all lead to a body of work that makes a contribution to the field of heathcare quality engineering. And a nice and comfortable career for me in ECC. Or perhaps a stepping stone to a position as a professor of health policy or something. At this point, I’m never taking the Assistant Professor gig on my way to tenure. But I might well work here for 10 more years and then accept a position at the associate level, or something like that. Assuming I can keep up my publication and funding record, which I believe that being at MECMC will help me with*.
So I’m excited. My day-to-day life is not going to change much. I’m getting a new title, a little more autonomy about projects and directions, a small pay bump, and eventually some full-time people to direct on my projects. I’m 40 years old. I have a lot of karmic debt to pay back, that I fucked up my life so badly and yet have managed to land well. I’m happy where I am, and I had better do right by whatever got me here.
*Go read Proflike Substance’s post on institutional pride.