FAIMER Global Faculty Development: A Sustainable Partnership Model to Advance Health Professions Education

Acad Med. 2023 May 5;98(10):1131-1138. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005264. Online ahead of print.


The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), a member of Intealth, offers longitudinal faculty development programs (LFDPs) in health professions education (HPE) and leadership through its International FAIMER Institute (IFI) in the United States and FAIMER Regional Institutes (FRIs) globally. FAIMER fosters mutual collaboration and delineates shared responsibilities for FRI development in partnership with local institutions, using an adapted hub-and-spoke organizational design. This paper describes FAIMER's model, its sustainability, and its impacts at individual, institutional, and national levels. IFI was launched in 2001 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a 2-year part-time hybrid LFDP; with the COVID-19 pandemic onset, IFI transitioned to a fully online program. Since FAIMER's launch, 11 FRIs developed in Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, each modeled on the IFI curriculum and adapted to local context. The more than 1,600 IFI and FRI graduates (fellows) from over 55 countries now form a global community of health professions educators who have shared exposure to HPE methods and assessment, leadership and management, educational scholarship and research, and project management and evaluation. Across all global locations and program formats, fellows self-reported a similar increase in knowledge and skills in HPE. All programs center on the fellows' institutional projects as experiential learning; these projects have focused primarily on educational methods and curriculum revisions. An increased quality of education was reported as the top impact resulting from fellows' projects. As a result of these programs, fellows have influenced education policy in their countries and established academic societies for HPE, thus contributing to recognition of the HPE academic specialty. FAIMER has successfully developed a sustainable model for advancing HPE globally, creating a vibrant network of health professions educators who have influenced country-specific educational policy and practice. FAIMER's model offers one approach to building global capacity in HPE.