Faculty Development for Medical School Community-Based Faculty: A Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance Study Exploring Institutional Requirements and Challenges

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Abstract

Purpose

Community-based faculty play a large role in training medical students nationwide and require faculty development. The authors hypothesized that positive relationships exist between clerkships paying preceptors and requiring faculty development, and between protected clerkship directors’ time and delivering face-to-face preceptor training, as well as with the number or length of community-based preceptor visits. Through under standing the quantity, delivery methods, barriers, and institutional support for faculty development provided to community-based preceptors teaching in family medicine clerkships, best practices can be developed.

Method

Data from the 2015 Council of Academic Family Medicine’s Educational Research Alliance survey of Family Medicine Clerkship Directors were analyzed. The cross-sectional survey of clerkship directors is distributed annually to institutional representatives of U.S. and Canadian accredited medical schools. Survey questions focused on the requirements, delivery methods, barriers, and institutional support available for providing faculty development to community-based preceptors.

Results

Paying community-based preceptors was positively correlated with requiring faculty development in family medicine clerkships. The greatest barrier to providing faculty development was community-based preceptor time availability; however, face-to-face methods remain the most common delivery strategy. Many family medicine clerkship directors perform informal or no needs assessment in developing faculty development topics for community-based faculty.

Conclusions

Providing payment to community preceptors may allow schools to enhance faculty development program activities and effectiveness. Medical schools could benefit from constructing a formal curriculum for faculty development, including formal preceptor needs assessment and program evaluation. Clerkship directors may consider recruiting and retaining community-based faculty by employing innovative faculty development delivery methods.

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