Aligning Education With Health Care Transformation: Identifying a Shared Mental Model of “New” Faculty Competencies for Academic Faculty

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Abstract

Purpose

To develop a potential competency framework for faculty development programs aligned with the needs of faculty in academic health centers (AHCs).

Method

In 2014 and 2015, the authors interviewed 23 health system leaders and analyzed transcripts using constant comparative analysis and thematic analysis. They coded competencies and curricular concepts into subcategories. Lead investigators reviewed drafts of the categorization themes and subthemes related to gaps in faculty knowledge and skills, collapsed and combined competency domains, and resolved disagreements via discussion.

Results

Through analysis, the authors identified four themes. The first was core functional competencies and curricular domains for conceptual learning, including patient-centered care, health care processes, clinical informatics, population and public health, policy and payment, value-based care, and health system improvement. The second was the need for foundational competency domains, including systems thinking, change agency/management, teaming, and leadership. The third theme was paradigm shifts in how academic faculty should approach health care, categorized into four areas: delivery, transformation, provider characteristics and skills, and education. The fourth theme was the need for faculty to be aware of challenges in the culture of AHCs as an influential context for change.

Conclusions

This broad competency framework for faculty development programs expands existing curricula by including a comprehensive scope of health systems science content and skills. AHC leaders can use these results to better align faculty education with the real-time needs of their health systems. Future work should focus on optimal prioritization and methods for teaching.

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