Academic journal article The Journal of Faculty Development

Faculty's Perception of Faculty Development

Academic journal article The Journal of Faculty Development

Faculty's Perception of Faculty Development

Article excerpt

Faculty development (fd) is an important element of every medical school and is a common theme across the continuum of undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education. The importance of FD has been reiterated in multiple key documents in the literature: CanMEDS framework; Triple C competency based curriculum (The College of Family Physicians of Canada, 2016); Competence by Design (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 2016); FMECUG (The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, 2010); General Medical Council(General Medical Council, 2015). Accreditation bodies such as the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (Liaison Committee on Medical Education, 2016) and Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, 2016) have FD as one of their standards (Standard 4).

FD, as adopted by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) FD Committee, is defined as activities that assist faculty members in the achievement of their academic roles with an aim to enhance the experience of learners and support the missions of faculties (Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, 2016). FD has evolved over the past few decades (Austin & Sorcinelli, 2015) and has shifted focus from an emphasis on behavioral objectives and feedback to how students learn and an emphasis on mentoring and improving the status of teaching in medical institutions (Hueppchen et al., 2011) in order to foster attitudes and competencies that support lifelong learning. It has further expanded to include not only teaching development but also leadership, professional and organizational developments.

Undoubtedly, the faculty of any medical school is its most important asset (Whitcomb, 2003). FD is therefore vital to prepare faculty for their academic and practice roles in an evolving environment (Puri, Graves, Lowenstein, & Hsu, 2012).

Roles of Faculty

In addition to teaching, faculty serve numerous roles such as researchers, scholars, service providers, mentors, educational leaders and administrators. The role of physicians has been further elaborated in the CanMEDS/CanMEDS FM framework as: Medical Expert, Communicator, Collaborator, Manager, Health Advocate, Scholar and Professional (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 2016). Therefore, FD has to play a key role in individual professional and personal development (Steinert, 2012), which may be achieved through activities that support professional development, instructional development, leadership development and/or organizational development.

Career Path

Faculty at every stage of their career-be it beginning, middle or late-have to be supported to achieve their academic roles. Also, FD needs to be customized to the needs of faculty members in different career paths e.g., educator, clinician teacher, scientist, administrator, clinician.

Approaches to FD

Given the variety of roles that individual's play and the time taken by different activities in these roles, the process of FD requires careful thought. Typically, medical schools utilize face-to-face, formal group activities. Steinert (2012) describes a framework for different approaches: individual formal (e.g., online learning; peer coaching; peer and student feedback); individual informal (e.g., reflecting; learning by observing; learning by doing); group formal (e.g., workshops; seminars; fellowships; longitudinal programs such as Masters); and group informal (e.g., work-based learning; communities of practice). With the rapid change in technology, a variety of media can and has to be used in FD, utilizing asynchronous and synchronous activities.

FD and Instructional Development

Instructional Development refers to activities that promote the application of empirical principles to the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of efficient instruction; teaching tips. …

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