"Comprehensive faculty development...empowers faculty members to excel...and to create vibrant academic communities..."
Wilkerson and Irby 1998
The practices and scholarship of faculty development originate from diverse initiatives supporting faculty recruitment, advancement, and retention: affirmative action initiatives for women and racial/ethnic minorities, faculty affairs policy development, educational faculty development programs, and research on productive researchers and teachers. Substantive discussions of faculty have been published over the past five years, discussions that can guide the development or expansion of programs in our medical schools. Whether reporting studies of productivity of research scientists, career satisfaction of clinical educators, or the general environment for mission-related activities, the results are the same: effective policies that reward contribution to the missions of research, teaching, and service combined with skill development and academic community support are essential to maintaining productive faculty. This work is summarized in the Resource section of this newsletter. It is supported by the activities of the AAMC’s new section on Faculty Development and Leadership programs (FD&L) through professional development programs, analysis of outcomes of policies and practices of medical schools and teaching hospitals, and communications such as this newsletter, Faculty Vitae. In fact, the activities of FD&L are all organized around this concept of vitality as arising from both individual and institutional contribution. We aim to support the essential components of capability, responsibility, and community.
- Capability describes our adaptation to change and improve knowledge and performance. It is enhanced by feedback, by challenge, and by reflection and problem-solving.
- Responsibility describes one’s accountability for conduct and obligations.
- Community is the supportive network of learning and reflective practice that contributes to our vitality and productivity.
As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information (Benjamin Disraeli, 1804 – 1881).
Faculty Vitae, the portfolio of faculty life, is distributed quarterly through electronic mail to academic faculty in medical schools and teaching hospitals supported by the AAMC. This publication of features news, short lessons for professional development in management and leadership, and research on issues related to faculty development.
Each issue of this electronic publication is organized around a theme that is of central importance to the faculty of medical schools. The publication is distributed to medical faculty and leadership of medical schools to enhance the leadership capabilities of communities of medical faculty through professional development. You can expect each issue to include the following sections that address both individual and institutional aspects of faculty development:
- Feature Articles: short, theme-based original articles that reflect current concerns and challenges of medical faculty members and their institutions.
- Leadership Lessons: references, resources, and learning modules that address leadership development. Lessons are organized for use in self-reflection and medical school or society based discussions.
- Perspectives: reflections on provocative questions that explore issues of importance to faculty and their professional development.
- Meeting Minutes: resources and lessons from AAMC sponsored meetings.
- Spotlight: puts a “face” on faculty achievements and successful faculty development programs through photographs and interviews.
- Resources: list or link programs, activities, abstracts, articles, books and bibliographies, including those used to develop the various sections of the publication.
- Inspirations: contributions of powerful quotes from the literature, popular press, and faculty development programs; creative contributions such as photography, poetry, short stories, etc.; Advancing Diversity in Leadership—awards and promotions of note.
- Feedback: solicits ideas for improvements and contributions to future issues as well as collecting information on faculty life from our audience.
"Faculty vitality means the ongoing realization of goals…This is a career-long journey, not a destination."
Viggiano, Harvard Macy Institute 2004
Whether reporting studies of productivity of research scientists, career satisfaction of clinical educators, or the general environment for mission-related activities, the results are the same: effective policies that reward contribution to the missions of research, teaching, and service combined with skill development and academic community support are essential to maintaining productive faculty.
- Bland CF, Seaquist E, Pacala JT, Center B, Finstad D. One School’s Strategy to Assess and Improve the Vitality of its Faculty. Acad Med 2002;77:368-376
- Morahan P, Gold J, Bickel J. Status of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development Offices in U.S. Medical Schools. Acad Med 2002;77:398-401
- Quinn R. Deep Change Jossey-Bass 1996.
- Simpson DE, Rediske VA, Beecher A, Bower D, Meurer L, Lawrence S, Wolkomir M. Understanding the Careers of Physician Educators in Family Medicine. Acad Med 2001;76:259-265
- Wilkerson W, Irby D. Strategies for Improving Teaching Practices: A Comprehensive Approach to Faculty Development. Acad Med 1998:73:387-396