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Acad Med. 2018 Jun 5. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002309. [Epub ahead of print]

The ALiEM Faculty Incubator: A Novel Online Approach to Faculty Development in Education Scholarship.

Author information

1
T.M. Chan is assistant professor, McMaster University, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, program director, the McMaster Clinician Educator Area of Focused Competency program, and an adjunct scientist, McMaster Program for Education Research, Innovation, and Theory, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Chan is chief academic officer and member, editorial board, Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Faculty Incubator; ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6104-462X. M. Gottlieb is assistant professor and director of emergency ultrasound, Rush University Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Gottlieb is chief operating officer, Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Faculty Incubator; ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3276-8375. J. Sherbino is associate professor, McMaster University, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, and assistant dean, Education Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. R. Cooney is residency program director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania. M. Boysen-Osborn is associate professor, vice chair of education, and residency program director, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California Irvine, Orange, California; ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6676-6429. A. Swaminathan is assistant professor, New York University, Department of Emergency Medicine, New York, New York. He is the editor-in-chief of the Core EM blog. F. Ankel is vice-president of health professions education, HealthPartners Institute, and professor of emergency medicine, the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also senior advisor, Academic Life in Emergency Medicine; ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7329-5095. L.M. Yarris is professor, Oregon Health Sciences University, Department of Emergency Medicine, Portland, Oregon. Dr. Yarris is chief strategic officer, Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Faculty Incubator; ORCID ID: https://orcid/0000-0003-1277-2852.

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Early- and mid-career clinician educators often lack a local discipline-specific community of practice (CoP) that encourages scholarly activity. As a result, these faculty members may feel disconnected from other scholars.

APPROACH:

Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) piloted the Faculty Incubator. This longitudinal, asynchronous, online curriculum focused on developing a virtual CoP among 30 early-to-mid-career medical educators (the "incubatees"), 8 core faculty mentors, and 10 guest mentors. The year-long curriculum included 12 monthly modules focusing on core concepts in medical education scholarship. The initiative connected the incubatees with a virtual community of peers and mentors, with whom they completed multiple scholarly projects, sought mentorship, and engaged professionally. The authors used an online, closed, social media platform (Slack) to facilitate the exchange of ideas.

OUTCOMES:

In the inaugural year (March 2016- February 2017), the mentorship team facilitated exceptional levels of online engagement among incubatees. All participants (incubatees, core mentors, and guest mentors) shared 1,081 files and exchanged a total of 22,665 messages (approximately 62 per day). Of these, 3,036 (13.4%) were via open channels, 5,483 (24.2%) via small groups, and 14,146 (62.4%) via direct messages.

NEXT STEPS:

The ALiEM Faculty Incubator represents a proof of concept, and initial outcomes show that it is possible to engage an international group of early-to-mid career medical educators to create a vibrant online CoP. The Faculty Incubator leaders plan to determine if this engaged group of health professions educators will increase their scholarly output as a result of this initiative.

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