The Osler Fellowship: an apprenticeship for medical educators

Acad Med. 2010 Jul;85(7):1242-9. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181da760a.


Purpose: As part of a renewed focus on the physician as healer and professional at McGill University, faculty members were recruited to teach in a four-year, longitudinal doctoring course called Physician Apprenticeship. The goal of this study was to examine the impact of this experience and the accompanying faculty development program on the teachers, known as Osler Fellows.

Method: An interviewer conducted semistructured interviews with 23 clinicians to understand their experiences as Osler Fellows and ascertain their views on how the workshop-based faculty development program, designed to mirror student experiences, differed from other professional development activities.

Results: The notion of connection and reconnection with the profession emerged as a major theme, consisting of four subthemes: the joy of working with students, the desire to make a difference, the process of reflection and renewal, and the building of community. Distinctive aspects of the faculty development program included the value of a common purpose, content that corresponded with core values, a sense of continuity, peer mentorship, and the emergence of a community of practice. Teachers also reported a sense of honor in being associated with Osler's name and a feeling of privilege in accompanying students on their journeys of discovery.

Conclusions: Participating in the Osler Fellowship, an example of situated and work-based learning, resulted in a sense of connection with students, medical education, core professional values, and colleagues. As medical educators continue to develop longitudinal mentoring programs, the authors hope that these findings will offer insights on faculty development, recruitment, and renewal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical / standards
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Faculty, Medical* / standards
  • Fellowships and Scholarships / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Professional Competence / standards*
  • Staff Development / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires