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

J Gen Intern Med. 2004 Mar;19(3):205-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30334.x.


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

Design: Mailed survey.

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

Measurements: Prevalence and characteristics of ongoing FD.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Hospitals, Teaching*
  • Humans
  • Staff Development / statistics & numerical data*
  • Teaching*
  • United States