Why Invest in an Educational Fellowship Program?

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Academic Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.93). 12/2006; 81(11):936-40. DOI: 10.1097/01.ACM.0000242476.57510.ce
Source: PubMed


Expanding and refining the repertoire of medical school teaching faculty is required by the many current and changing demands of medical education. To meet this challenge academic medical institutions have begun to establish programs--including educational fellowship programs--to improve the teaching toolboxes of faculty and to empower them to assume leadership roles within both institutional and educational arenas. In this article, the authors (1) provide historical background on educational fellowship programs; (2) describe the prevalence and focus of these programs in North American medical schools, based on data from a recent (2005) survey; and (3) give a brief overview of the nine fellowship programs that are discussed fully in other articles in this issue of Academic Medicine. These articles describe very different types of educational fellowships that, nevertheless, share common features: a cohort of faculty members who are selected to participate in a longitudinal set of faculty development activities to improve participants' teaching skills and to build a cadre of educational leaders for the institution. Evaluation of educational fellowships remains a challenging issue, but the authors contend that one way to evaluate the programs' effectiveness is to look at the educational improvements that have been instigated by program graduates. The authors hope that the various program descriptions will help readers to improve their existing programs and/or to initiate new programs.

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    • "One of the most common forms of faculty development is the fellowship program, offered by almost half of US medical schools. Fellowship programs in medical education are defined as single cohorts of medical teaching faculty participating in an extended faculty development activity (Searle et al., 2006). Most fellowship programs require completion of at least one scholarly project. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – This paper aims to explore the impact leadership development program graduates had on their workgroup, the nature of that impact and how that impact occurred. Design/methodology/approach – This research was conducted at three sites using a qualitative interview methodology with thematic data analysis. Techniques to ensure trustworthiness included purposive sampling, triangulation of researchers, member checks and code checking. Findings – Analysis of the data revealed secondhand learning as specific changes in practices, behaviors and attitudes, transferred by program graduates to their peers and supervisors. The transfer of learning was described as both intentional and informal learning during episodes of varying duration, and occurred through a variety of dyadic and group interactions in a manner generally consistent with the 4I framework of organizational learning. Research limitations/implications – The study was limited to medical educators. Recommendations for supervisors and organizations to maximize training transfer are identified. These suggestions advocate for actively encouraging graduates in departmental leadership and faculty development; focusing transfer on specific practices, behaviors and attitudes; and considering both short- and long-term outcomes. Originality/value – This paper makes an original contribution to the literature by describing the process of secondhand learning from leadership development program graduates. The paper also expands our understanding of the nuances in transfer methods and associated learning episodes in the context of an educational environment. Finally, the research illustrates how qualitative methods can be used to expose secondhand learning.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Workplace Learning
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    • "The drive for continuous improvement in medical education is propelled by both advancements in educational theory and research evidence, which is subsequently changing the traditional requirements of a medical educator (1–4). Hence, many medical faculties have endorsed development programs to improve teaching skills of their staff (5–7). A variety of different approaches have been surveyed, however, establishing the effectiveness of new faculty development programs and their impact on student education remains a challenge (8–10). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background It is well accepted that medical faculty teaching staff require an understanding of educational theory and pedagogical methods for effective medical teaching. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 5-day teaching education program. Methods An open prospective interventional study using quantitative and qualitative instruments was performed, covering all four levels of the Kirkpatrick model: Evaluation of 1) ‘Reaction’ on a professional and emotional level using standardized questionnaires; 2) ‘Learning’ applying a multiple choice test; 3) ‘Behavior’ by self-, peer-, and expert assessment of teaching sessions with semistructured interviews; and 4) ‘Results’ from student evaluations. Results Our data indicate the success of the educational intervention at all observed levels. 1) Reaction: The participants showed a high acceptance of the instructional content. 2) Learning: There was a significant increase in knowledge (P<0.001) as deduced from a pre-post multiple-choice questionnaire, which was retained at 6 months (P<0.001). 3) Behavior: Peer-, self-, and expert-assessment indicated a transfer of learning into teaching performance. Semistructured interviews reflected a higher level of professionalism in medical teaching by the participants. 4) Results: Teaching performance ratings improved in students’ evaluations. Conclusions Our results demonstrate the success of a 5-day education program in embedding knowledge and skills to improve performance of medical educators. This multimethodological approach, using both qualitative and quantitative measures, may serve as a model to evaluate effectiveness of comparable interventions in other settings.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Medical Education Online
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    • "Longitudinal inquiries suggest changes in participants' knowledge, skills, selfperceptions , and social networks; however, assessment of the quantity and quality of subsequent educational projects, leadership positions, and scholarship is lacking (Hatem, Lown, & Newman, 2009; Lown, Newman, & Hatem, 2009; Searle et al., 2006; Thompson et al., 2011). Most fellowship programs require completion of a scholarly project. "
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    ABSTRACT: Billions of dollars are spent annually on programs to develop organizational leaders, yet the effectiveness of these programs is poorly understood. Scholars advise that value is enhanced by the development of individual leadership plans at program completion, followed by implementation experience with subsequent coaching and reflection. The literature discusses coaching on specific skills in individual plans; research is lacking regarding coaching's value for the individual plan implementation process as a whole. In addition, there is scant literature concerning the use of reciprocal peer coaching in leadership development. This article presents the findings of research aimed at understanding the experience of individuals who completed a leadership development program, prepared individual leadership plans at completion, and then engaged in a process that included reciprocal peer coaching to help them implement their plans. The major contributions of the study concern the importance of the support structure provided, the nature of the benefits identified from giving as well as receiving coaching, and the specification of a transformational learning process regarding both the implementation of individual leadership plans and engagement in reciprocal peer coaching. While the study was conducted in a medical educational setting, the findings have implications for leadership development programs in other areas of education, as well as other organizational settings.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Human Resource Development Quarterly
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