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Knight AM, Carrese JA, Wright SM. Qualitative assessment of the long.tenn impact of a faculty development programme in teaching skills. Med Educ. 2007 Jun;4 1(6):592-600.

Knight AM, Carrese JA, Wright SM. Qualitative assessment of the long.tenn impact of a faculty development programme in teaching skills. Med Educ. 2007 Jun;4 1(6):592-600.

Reviewed by Julie Byerley

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?
The long-tenn impact of faculty development programs is not well understood. Most assessments of faculty development programs are done shortly after program completion and are quamitative in nature.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?
To better understand the impact of their resource- intensive longitudinal faculty development program and discover, through qualitative evaluation, themes about program impact.

Who was studied?
Two hundred forty-two graduates from 14 cohorts of a nine month. I half-day per week faculty development program in teaching skills at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center were surveyed. Two hu ndred participants responded (83%).

How was the study done? Graduates of the program from 1987-2000. who were currently living in various locations across the US and in Canada. were surveyed in July 2002. Basic demographic information and descriptions of current professional and teaching activities were requested. Respondents were asked to rate how much impact the program had had on their career and professional life and on their personal lives using a Likert scale of none. a little. a moderate amounl. and a lot. Participants were also asked open-ended questions about the impact of the program on their personal and professional lives. Data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.

What did tbe researchers find?
More than 40% of respondents stated that the program had a lot of impact on their professional life and another 40% stated the program had a moderate amount of impact on their professional life. Almost 50% of respondents described the impact of the program on their pen;onallife as a moderate amount or a lot.

The qualitative themes identified in analysis of the open ended questions identified the following as commonly cited effects from the program: continued use of teaching methods learned and helping other teachers improve, organization and lime-management skills, commitment lO reflection and self-awareness, ability to give and elicit feedback, prioritizing and setting goals, leadership and group participation skills. and listening and communicating with others. Many comments from participants reflected improved relationships with patients and their own colleagues and families based on skills learned in the faculty development program that was focused on teaching skills. The article includes many interesting comments directly from participants.

The researchen; conclude that "the sustained effects on participants go far beyond the programme's module topics and stated goals. and, according to participants' self-reports, significantly affect their career development and personal lives."

What were the limitations of the study?
As a qualitative study the outcomes cited are those presented by participants, There was no comparison group.

What are the implications of the study?
Resource-intense longitudinal faculty development programs may lead to improved performance and satisfaction for participants in both their personal and professional lives, and may have sustained effects that exceed their stated objectives. Requests for support of faculty development programs should consider more broad downstream effects than simply improved teaching quality.

Ed note: Too often, the success of facuity development is measured immediately following the intervention. True faculty development is a longitudinal process and the outcomes measured need to reflect not only satisfaction and self-confidence. but also competence. Maybe COMSEP should look at the long term outcomes of faculty development provided to members in the context of the Annual Meeting. WVR

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