A weekend program model for faculty development with primary care physicians.Fam Med. 2004 Jan; 36 Suppl:S110-4.FM
Medical teachers are expected to be proficient at teaching students and residents about the changing health care system. The University of Wisconsin established a faculty development fellowship program to better prepare clinical teachers in family medicine, general pediatrics, and general internal medicine. This paper describes our fellowship program, presents data on program accomplishments, and discusses what we have learned.
We developed a year-long series of five weekend workshops. A core group of faculty provided 2- to 4- hour sessions on topics including evidence-based medicine, physician leadership, advocacy, doctor-patient communication, quality, technology tools, and teaching skills. Evaluation data were used to shape the program, make improvements, and assess impact. Fellows self-assessed their ability to perform skills at the beginning and ending of the year; paired t tests were used to compare these changes.
Attendance and program completion rates were more than 94% for the 84 fellows taught over 6 years. Individual sessions and the overall program were well-rated by fellows. Participants reported improvements in targeted skills; statistical analyses confirmed many significant pre-post improvements.
To obtain high ratings, faculty must apply adult learning and active learning principles; lectures were not well tolerated. Initial technology skills were often low; computer labs needed many helpers. Participants needed extensive faculty support on their projects. It facilitated coordination and learning to have a core group of fellowship faculty who did most of the teaching. Graduates have become enthusiastic recruiters for new fellows. Our 5-weekend program has proven to be an effective faculty development model.