Faculty development: An individualized approach

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Within academic medicine, faculty development has traditionally been approached through the use of fellowships and prescriptive curricula. Individual faculty members go outside the department to participate in packaged programs, which generally are not personalized to meet their needs. Faculty development centers often offer excellent fellowships and faculty enhancement programs, but they have a major drawback–a department's entire faculty cannot participate together. It would be helpful, if we are to assure excellence in all areas of faculty performance, to create a new approach to faculty development.The Department of Family Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) has recently put in place a voluntary program that builds on the strengths of traditional faculty development methods while recognizing their limitations. This new approach includes the entire faculty, is individualized, makes use of mentors, is an ongoing process, and has a number of other unique features.This paper describes how the individualized approach was designed and implemented and the program's potential for building a network of mentors across the colleges at OUHSC.

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