Faculty development: if you build it, they will come

Faculty Development Office, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Medical Education (Impact Factor: 3.2). 09/2010; 44(9):900-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03746.x
Source: PubMed


The goals of this study were three-fold: to explore the reasons why some clinical teachers regularly attend centralised faculty development activities; to compare their responses with those of colleagues who do not attend, and to learn how we can make faculty development programmes more pertinent to teachers' needs.
In 2008-2009, we conducted focus groups with 23 clinical teachers who had participated in faculty development activities on a regular basis in order to ascertain their perceptions of faculty development, reasons for participation, and perceived barriers against involvement. Thematic analysis and research team consensus guided the data interpretation.
Reasons for regular participation included the perceptions that: faculty development enables personal and professional growth; learning and self-improvement are valued; workshop topics are viewed as relevant to teachers' needs; the opportunity to network with colleagues is appreciated, and initial positive experiences promote ongoing involvement. Barriers against participation mirrored those cited by non-attendees in an earlier study (e.g. volume of work, lack of time, logistical factors), but did not prevent participation. Suggestions for increasing participation included introducing a 'buddy system' for junior faculty members, an orientation workshop for new staff, and increased role-modelling and mentorship.
The conceptualisation of faculty development as a means to achieve specific objectives and the desire for relevant programming that addresses current needs (i.e., expectancies), together with an appreciation of learning, self-improvement and networking with colleagues (i.e., values), were highlighted as reasons for participation by regular attendees. Medical educators should consider these 'lessons learned' in the design and delivery of faculty development offerings. They should also continue to explore the notion of faculty development as a social practice and the application of motivational theories that include expectancy-value constructs to personal and professional development.

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    • "Although many teachers may be experienced health professionals they are not necessarily experienced in providing academic and pastoral guidance to students or, because they work outside the university, may be unfamiliar with university systems, services and regulations. Support personnel need to have a means of getting up-to-date advice, sharing best practice and getting assistance with difficult, unusual or challenging cases (Steinert et al. 2010). Involvement with Student Services and relevant healthcare providers, especially counselling services, enables expert advice to be given and reinforces referral processes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Medical students often require high levels of specialised institutional and personal support to facilitate success. Contributory factors may include personality type, course pressures and financial hardship. Drawing from research literature and the authors' experience, 12 tips are listed under five subheadings: policy and systems; people and resources; students; delivering support; limits of support. The 12 tips provide guidance to organisations and individual providers that encourages implementation of good practice and helps them better visualise their role within the system. By following the tips, medical schools can make more effective provisions for the expected, diverse and sometimes specialist needs of their students. Schools must take a proactive, anticipatory approach to provide appropriately for their entire student body. This ensures that students receive the best quality support, are more likely to succeed and are adequately prepared for their medical careers.
    Medical Teacher 05/2014; 36(6). DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2014.907488 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    • "The current faculty development literature primarily describes formal, structured activities, such as workshops and seminars, fellowships and other longitudinal programmes, and degree programmes, as the major method of delivery [2]. However, a number of recent articles have indicated the role of informal learning [48] and social factors [49] in faculty development as well as the value of faculty development in building communities of practice [50]. Looking forward, we should consider how faculty development can capitalize on the notions of work-based learning and communities of practice to promote the development of faculty members. "
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    ABSTRACT: Faculty development has a key role to play in individual and organizational development. This perspective on faculty development, which builds on the 2020 Vision of Faculty Development Across the Medical Education Continuum Conference and the First International Conference on Faculty Development in the Health Professions, describes six recommendations that we should consider as the field of faculty development moves forward: grounding faculty development in a theoretical framework; broadening the focus of faculty development to address the various roles that clinicians and basic scientists play; recognizing the role that faculty development can play in promoting curricular and organizational change; expanding our notion of how faculty members develop and moving beyond formal, structured activities to incorporate notions of work-based learning and communities of practice; making faculty development an expectation for all faculty members; and promoting scholarship in faculty development to ensure that research informs practice. Looking ahead, we should also consider strategies for leading change, collaborate across institutions and international borders, and work together to share lessons learned in research and practice.
    03/2012; 1(1):31-42. DOI:10.1007/s40037-012-0006-3
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    • "Some participants also value the identification of a conceptual framework or language for their teaching (Steinert, 2005, Weurlander and Stenfors-Hayes, 2008). Personal and professional growth, learning and self-improvement are also reported outcomes (Steinert et al., 2010). Courses may also be a way to capture and share implicit knowledge (Knight et al., 2006, Weurlander and Stenfors-Hayes, 2008) and thereby help making conceptions clearer. "
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