A needs assessment of medical school faculty: Caring for the caretakers

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Introduction:We conducted an assessment of need for faculty development and mentoring in a medical school to guide program planning and use of scarce resources.Methods:A multifaceted approach included semi-structured interviews, nominal group process, and a 36-item questionnaire to reach all faculty in the school, including senior administrators.Results:With a 72% response rate, we validated the questionnaire and, using principal components analysis, identified and prioritized the eight interpretable subdimensions: personal growth, achieving balance, teaching, professional networking, research, administrative skills, career progression, and diversity/ethics. All groups of faculty prioritized learning for sustaining their vitality, balancing their personal and professional lives, finding meaning in their work, relationships, and personal growth. Senior administrators prioritized the following for faculty: time management, an institutional outlook, teamwork, and improved performance in teaching, research, and clinical practice. Junior faculty expressed the need for mentoring, scholarship, research, and career planning.Discussion:Attention to faculty humanistic needs and the disparity between the perceived needs by faculty and senior administrators may help explain the attrition of faculty in academic medicine.

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