A systematic review of faculty development activities in family medicine

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Journal Article
Medical Teacher, 2013, 35 (7)
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Background: Faculty development (FD) has been defined as a planned programme to prepare institutions and faculty members for their roles in the areas of teaching, research, administration and career management. However, there are few generalisable evaluations of FD activities available to help family medicine FD planners to choose the most effective training strategies. Aim: To assess the evidence for the effectiveness of family medicine FD activities. Method: Six electronic databases were searched from 1980 to 2010 and included all articles on FD interventions in family medicine. Hand searching was also undertaken. Results: A total of 4520 articles were identified, 46 fulfilled the search criteria and were reviewed across three domains: (a) Context, i.e. setting, participation and funding. (b)Content/Process, i.e. theoretical framework, focus of intervention/learning outcomes, types of FD intervention and instructional methods. (c) Evaluation using Freeth et al's adaptation of Kirkpatrick's outcome levels. Conclusion: FD activities appear highly valued by the participants, leading to changes in learning and behaviour. Changes in organisational practice and student learning were not frequently reported. The continued success of family medicine FD will depend on the contextual approach/collegial support, adaptability of the programmes, robust evaluation and adequate funding in terms of resources and time. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.
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