ABSTRACT: Faculty development activities in family medicine: in search of innovation
To describe the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) faculty development requirements, explore the range of faculty development activities and support currently used by family medicine residencies to meet these requirements, and describe one innovative approach to satisfy this need.
An electronic survey of faculty development activities and support offered to faculty by residency programs was sent to a random sample of 40 medical school and community based family medicine residency programs across the United States. Data were examined using t-tests, Fisher’s exact tests, and Analysis of Variance.
Faculty development, beyond traditional clinical CME, was strongly encouraged or required by a large proportion of the sample (73%). Only 58% of programs reported having discussed the ACGME’s faculty development component areas (clinical, educational, administrative, leadership, research, and behavioral). In each component area except the “clinical” area, the absence of discussing the ACGME component areas with residency faculty was associated with fewer faculty development activities and support being offered by the program.
These results, although preliminary, suggest that family medicine residency programs may value and encourage faculty development. The majority of programs use traditional activities and strategies such as CME, faculty meetings, faculty conferences and workshops; and a smaller number of programs are exploring the utility of mentoring programs, faculty discussion groups, and technology based learning systems. The challenge is to develop faculty development activities tailored to individual program and faculty needs and resources