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J Gen Intern Med. 2004 Mar;19(3):205-14.

Teaching the teachers: national survey of faculty development in departments of medicine of U.S. teaching hospitals.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, The Johns Hopkins University, 2024 Monument Street, Suite 2-600, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



To determine the prevalence, topics, methods, and intensity of ongoing faculty development (FD) in teaching skills.


Mailed survey.


Two hundred and seventy-seven of the 386 (72%) U.S. teaching hospitals with internal medicine residency programs.


Prevalence and characteristics of ongoing FD.


One hundred and eight teaching hospitals (39%) reported ongoing FD. Hospitals with a primary medical school affiliation (university hospitals) were more likely to have ongoing FD than non-university hospitals. For non-university hospitals, funding from the Health Resources Services Administration and >50 house staff were associated with ongoing FD. For university hospitals, >100 department of medicine faculty was associated. Ongoing programs included a mean of 10.4 topics (standard deviation, 5.4). Most offered half-day workshops (80%), but 22% offered > or =1-month programs. Evaluations were predominantly limited to postcourse evaluations forms. Only 14% of the hospitals with ongoing FD (5% of all hospitals) had "advanced" programs, defined as offering > or =10 topics, lasting >2 days, and using > or =3 experiential teaching methods. These were significantly more likely to be university hospitals and to offer salary support and/or protected time to their FD instructors. Generalists and hospital-based faculty were more likely to receive training than subspecialist and community-based faculty. Factors facilitating participation in FD activities were supervisor attitudes, FD expertise, and institutional culture.


A minority of U.S. teaching hospitals offer ongoing faculty development in teaching skills. Continued progress will likely require increased institutional commitment, improved evaluations, and adequate resources, particularly FD instructors and funding.

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