How Do You Get to the Improvement of Teaching? A Longitudinal Faculty Development Program for Medical Educators

Diane L. Elliot, Kelley M. Skeff, Georgette A. Stratos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Among nonmedical educators, longitudinal faculty development programs most effectively increase teachers' abilities.1 Despite most medical settings providing little reinforcement for new instructional skills, teaching improvement programs infrequently have explicit ongoing activities.2-6 We carried out a longitudinal program for medical educators designed to reinforce and firmly establish new teaching skills. Description: We conducted a longitudinal (18 months of biweekly 1-hr meetings) faculty development program. Its activities followed an initial structured seminar series, and the ongoing meetings involved reviewing videotapes of participants' teaching, enacting and debriefing role-plays, and a modified Balint group for medical educators. Evaluation: We assessed the program's process and outcomes using attendance, self-reported teaching behaviors, perceived program usefulness, educational administrative responsibilities, and qualitative analysis of audiotapes and session notes. Conclusions: Participants maintained high attendance during 18 months of meetings. Ratings of usefulness were high, comparable to other faculty development activities with established utility, and qualitative data support unique benefits of the ongoing meetings. The longitudinal component built on the initial seminar series; it seemed to enhance collegial support, to allow observation of instructional outcomes to reinforce new instructional skills, and to foster greater involvement in the institution's teaching activities. Teaching improvement programs for physician educators have taken several forms, from workshops and expert consultations to month-long minisabbaticals.2-6 However, most are single or sequenced interventions, without an explicit long-term component. We present the structure of an 18-month program for clinician teachers and report observations supporting the program's utility. We hope that this descriptive study promotes greater attention to and subsequent prospective research of longitudinal faculty development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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