Regional teaching improvement programs for community-based teachers


      PURPOSE: Community-based clinical teachers provide an important cadre of faculty for medical education. This study was designed to examine the feasibility and value of an American College of Physicians–sponsored regional teaching improvement program for community-based teachers.
      SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We conducted five regional (Connecticut, New Hampshire/Vermont, New York, Ohio, and Virginia) 1- to 2-day teaching-improvement workshops for 282 faculty (49% community based, 51% university based). The workshops were conducted by regional facilitators trained by the Stanford Faculty Development Program using large group and small group instructional methods to teach participants a framework for analyzing teaching, to increase their repertoire of teaching behaviors, to define personal teaching goals, and to identify the educational needs of their teaching site.
      Participants used Likert ratings [1 (low) to 5 (high) scale] to assess workshop quality, facilitator effectiveness, and rewards for and barriers to teaching in their clinics. Using retrospective pre- and postintervention ratings, participants also assessed workshop impacts on teacher knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Finally, participants completed open-ended questions to identify recommended changes to improve their clinic as an educational site for students and residents.
      RESULTS: At all sites, participants evaluated the program as highly useful (4.6 ± 0.6, mean ± SD). Participants’ ratings indicated that the program had a positive effect on their knowledge of teaching principles (4.0 ± 0.9), an increase in their teaching ability (P <0.001), and an increase in their sense of integration with their affiliated institution (P <0.001).
      CONCLUSIONS: Regional training of university and community faculty can be an effective way of promoting the improvement of teaching and the collaboration between community-based teachers and academic centers. National physician organizations and regionally based facilitators can provide important resources for the delivery of such training.
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