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Developing a Clinician Educator Faculty Development Program: Lessons Learned
Fertig, AM, Tew JD, Douaihy AB, Nash KC, Solai LKK, Travis MJ, Zippay LB, Matthews KA and Lewis DA

Academic Psychiatry, published online, 2016

Over the past 25 years, the roles of physicians as clinicians, educators, and administrators in academic medicine have received increasing attention. Awareness of the complex nature of this career path has also been heightened.  In their paper published in the journal Academic Psychiatry, Drs. Alexis Fertig and James Tew, Jr., and their colleagues shared how the Department of Psychiatry developed and implemented an innovative model for providing clinician educators with the tools and resources to help them navigate their career paths. 

Their review of the literature revealed several types of programs intended to help Clinician Educator faculty with career development and advancement. The first type of program, available through universities or professional organizations, is open to applicants from a variety of disciplines. The second type of program, developed at several academic medical centers, focuses on comprehensive development of physician faculty members across medical school departments. These types of programs typically provide a certificate or advanced degree in medical education. They also require significant financial and time commitments from departments and participants, including protected time from clinical work. A third type of program emphasizes peer mentorship and skill building. These programs require less financial and time commitment than the first two types, and have generally been grass roots programs developed by faculty members within a department. More recently, departments are developing systematic programs for their early career faculty members with a focus on skill development and mentorship and guided by the expertise of more senior faculty.

In developing the Clinician Educator Faculty Development Program (CEFDP), Department of Psychiatry leadership evaluated these program models and designed a program that was focused within the Department, required relatively few resources and required limited time investment. The program was encouraged and supported by the Department Chair and hospital leadership, and expanded on the Pitt Department of Psychiatry’s clinician educator development track for residents. The Academic Psychiatry article describes the development of a CEFDP pilot in the Department of Psychiatry from 2012 to 2013. It also provides an overview of the program’s conceptualization, implementation, and evaluation, as well as reflections on lessons learned in the process that may be instructive to other departments seeking to pursue similar initiatives.

James D. Tew, Jr., MD, Antoine B. Douaihy, MD, Kenneth C. Nash, MD, MMM, LalithKumar K. Solai, MD, Michael J. Travis, MD, Lori B. Zippay, BA, Karen A. Matthews, PhD and David A. Lewis, MD (Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

This article was published in the journal Academic Psychiatry. Click here to view the abstract.