Evaluation of and Feedback for Academic Medicine Leaders: Developing and Implementing the Memorial Method

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Abstract

Problem

Giving and receiving honest and helpful feedback for leadership development is a common challenge in all types of organizations but particularly in academic medicine.

Approach

At Memorial University of Newfoundland, in 2014, a consensus emerged to develop a new method for evaluating the leadership performance of the discipline chairs, dean, and vice dean, and to provide these leaders with the evaluation results to help them improve their performance. The leaders responsible for developing and implementing this method (called the Memorial Method) decided to use a survey to obtain faculty members’ perceptions about their leader’s performance. Beginning in October 2014, a portion of several regular meetings of the discipline chairs with the dean and vice dean was used to develop the survey, by first discussing the broad dimensions of leadership performance, then discussing these dimensions in more detail and drafting specific questions. The resulting survey included 44 quantitative questions addressing eight leadership dimensions. In March–April 2015, the survey was administered electronically to full-time faculty members on a confidential basis. The results were compiled and reported to each discipline chair and to the dean and vice dean.

Outcomes

In total, 144/249 faculty responded to the survey (response rate: 58%). For the various dimensions, individual chairs’ mean scores ranged from 2.82 to 4.70, and overall mean scores ranged from 3.57 to 4.24. Psychometric properties of the survey suggested it was both reliable and valid.

Next Steps

The survey will be repeated, this time with part-time as well as full-time faculty included.

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