Fifteen years of aligning faculty development with primary care clinician-educator roles and academic advancement at the Medical College of Wisconsin.Acad Med. 2006 Nov; 81(11):945-53.AM
Starting in 1991, the Medical College of Wisconsin's (MCW) primary care-focused faculty development programs have continuously evolved in order to sustain tight alignment among faculty members' needs, institutional priorities, and academic reward structures. Informed by literature on the essential competencies associated with academic success and using educational methods demonstrated to achieve targeted objectives, MCW's initial 1.5-day per month comprehensive faculty development programs prepared faculty as clinician-researchers, leaders, and educators. As institutional priorities and faculty roles shifted, a half-day per month advanced education program was added, and the comprehensive faculty development program transitioned to its current half-day per month program. Using a modular approach, this program focuses exclusively on clinician-educator competencies in curriculum, teaching, leadership, evaluation, and learner assessment. Instructional methods combine interactive, face-to-face sessions modeling a range of instructional strategies with between-session assignments now supported through an e-learning platform. All participants complete a required project, which addresses a divisional or departmental need, meets standards associated with scholarship, and is submitted to a peer-reviewed forum. To date, over 115 faculty members have enrolled in MCW's faculty development programs. Program evaluation over the 15-year span has served to guide program revision and to provide clear evidence of program impact. A longitudinal evaluation of comprehensive program graduates from 1993 to 1999 showed that 88% of graduates' educational projects were implemented and sustained more than one year after program completion. Since 2001, each participant, on average, attributes more than two peer-reviewed presentations and one peer-reviewed publication to program participation. Based on 15 years of evaluation data, five tenets associated with program success are outlined.