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Acad Med. 2012 Sep;87(9):1177-84.

Implementing the leadership development plans of faculty education fellows: a structured approach.

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  • 1George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA.


The literature about medical education faculty fellowship programs, which have grown in popularity, quantifies program characteristics, provides exemplars, and reports on delivery strategies. Evaluation is generally limited to satisfaction measures, with a few longitudinal studies of postprogram achievements, but none on the process of making these changes.The authors describe the development of faculty members' postfellowship leadership plans and a structured process to support plan implementation. They also compare the implementation of initiatives specified in individual leadership development plans of two cohorts of faculty. The participants were graduates of a fellowship program at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. One cohort participated in a structured process of monthly reciprocal peer coaching, followed by journaling and quarterly interviews with the program director; a second cohort functioned as a comparison with no structured process supporting them. (Study years are not provided because they could inadvertently lead to the identification of the participants.) Despite similar implementation challenges expressed by both cohorts, the cohort participating in the structured process implemented 23% more of their planned initiatives, including 2 times as many educational leadership initiatives and 3.5 times as many initiatives related to developing new curriculum. The combination of plan development, reciprocal peer coaching, journaling, and interview discussions provided faculty with focus, structure, and personal support. This structured process supporting leadership plan development and implementation can be easily transferred to other fellowship programs in medical education, adapted for use with residents and fellows, and used in similar development programs.

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