ISSN: 1356-1820 (print), 1469-9567 (electronic) J Interprof Care, 2015; 29(2): 165–167 ! 2015 Informa UK Ltd. DOI: 10.3109/13561820.2014.940417


Developing a comprehensive faculty development program to promote interprofessional education, practice and research at a free-standing academic health science center Sarah Shrader1, Mary Mauldin2, Sammar Hammad3, Maralynee Mitcham4 and Amy Blue5 1

Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA, 2Center for Academic Research, Department of Library Science and Informatics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA, 3Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, 4 Department of Health Professions, and 5Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA Abstract


There is an on-going transformation in health professions education to prepare students to function as competent members of an interprofessional team in order to increase patient safety and improve patient care. Various methods of health education and practice directed toward students have been implemented, yet descriptions of faculty development initiatives designed to advance interprofessional education and practice are scarce. This article describes a faculty development program at the Medical University of South Carolina, USA, based on the conceptual framework of adult transformational learning theory. Three components comprise the faculty development program: an institute, fellowship and teaching series. Evaluations of the three components indicate that the faculty development program aided in the sustainability of the university’s interprofessional program, and built capacity for improvement and growth in interprofessional endeavors.

Faculty development, interprofessional education, interprofessional practice

Introduction There has been a call for increased faculty development efforts in interprofessional education and practice to achieve the national competencies and advance interprofessional collaboration in healthcare [Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), 2011]. Limited data are available regarding interprofessional faculty development initiatives; most describe activities that improve interprofessional facilitation (Anderson, Cox, & Thorpe, 2009; Baker, Egan-Lee, Leslie, Silver, & Reeves, 2010; Egan-Lee et al., 2011; Steinert, 2005). Interprofessional facilitation is an important skill; however, it does not encompass other faculty development ideas to further the interprofessional mission. This article describes an institution-wide faculty development program (FDP) to promote interprofessional education, practice and research that may serve as a model for implementation and/or adaptation at a variety of other types of institutions.

Background The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), an academic health science campus, implemented a major interprofessional education (IPE) initiative in 2007 across its six colleges. In addition, the university’s strategic plan included interprofessional education and practice as a focus area (Blue, Mitcham, Smith,

Correspondence: Dr. Sarah Shrader, PharmD, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 6003 Wescoe Building, Kansas City, 66160 KS, USA. E-mail: [email protected]

History Received 29 December 2013 Revised 9 May 2014 Accepted 27 June 2014 Published online 22 July 2014

Raymond, & Greenberg, 2010). Interprofessional education and practice initiatives at MUSC have burgeoned to include a wide range of experiences. To support faculty contributions to the interprofessional mission, university promotion and tenure guidelines were revised to recognize interprofessional contributions. Given the variety of faculty members across multiple professions and their current understanding and experience with interprofessional collaboration, a comprehensive FDP was concurrently created and implemented for the interprofessional mission of the university to succeed.

Overview of FDP The FDP was modeled after current best practices in the literature (Steinert, 2005) and aimed at the individual and organizational level, involved diverse stakeholders, focused on interprofessional education, practice, teaching, learning, leadership, organizational change, and was delivered in a variety of settings and formats. Transformative adult learning theory served as the framework for the design of the FDP (Sargeant, 2009). Three key components of the comprehensive FDP unfolded over time: (i) interprofessional institute; (ii) interprofessional fellowship and (iii) interprofessional teaching series. The evolution of each component served to meet the expansion of interprofessional collaboration in all three areas of education, research and practice at the university. In addition, the FDP built capacity of faculty across the university to sustain current activities and allow growth to meet future needs of interprofessional education and practice. Participation in any component of the FDP was completely voluntary. See Table 1 for a detailed description and evaluation of the FDP.


S. Shrader et al.

J Interprof Care, 2015; 29(2): 165–167

Table 1. Description of the FDP. Component



Additional logistics

Program evaluation

Eighty-eight individuals have parSix sessions: (i) introduc- Each of the sessions lasted Interprofessional (i) Articulate the value of ticipated, with 18 identifying 2.5 h: 1 h reflection/project tion to IPE/IPC and the Institute interprofessional education, research, 25 clinical and 45 work and 1.5 h didactic with Institute; (ii) the value of research and clinical praceducation as their primary active-learning component. interprofessional teams tice; (ii) demonstrate knowprofessional responsibility. The institute was offered to all and team skills; (iii) ledge of team dynamics and participants that expressed The IEPS survey was administered communication skills; effective group processes to to voluntary and anonymous interest and indicated (iv) conflict resolution; enable effective interprofesparticipants (n ¼ 40 responders) supervisor support and it (v) negotiation skills and sional collaboration (IPC); There were no statistically sigwas offered an average of (vi) leading change (iii) apply knowledge of nificant differences (p50.05) in once per year. individual professional roles Complete an interprofesany of the scales pre- and postsional project and interand professional roles of institute. view or shadow someone others for effective IPC; A follow-up survey 1–2 years of another health profes(iv) develop interprofespost-participation was adminission. sional partnerships based on tered. Sixty-nine percent Participate as a small group mutual trust and respect; (N ¼ 25) of the total 36 particifacilitator in one of the (v) communicate effectively pants indicated increased parrequired IPE activities. to exchange information for ticipation in the following effective IPC; (vi) apply activities: (a) interprofessional conflict resolution and initiatives (80% of respondents, negotiation skills to enhance N ¼ 20); (b) interprofessional IPC; and (vii) model and collaborations (64% of advocate for IPC in educarespondents, N ¼ 16) and tion, research and clinical (c) interprofessional scholarly practice. activity (60% of respondents, N ¼ 15). First two fellowships completed. Competitive application proInterprofessional (i) Acquire new IP knowledge Participate in: monthly (i) New interprofessional elective cess. interprofessional menfellowship and skills. developed. A stipend of $5000 was protoring circle and inter(ii) Engage in interprofessional vided to each fellow to cover (ii) Clinical interprofessional professional Institute. collaboration. project completed and the integrative project and/ (iii) Integrate interprofessional Participate as a small group submitted for larger grant. or travel expenses. facilitator in one of the experiences gained into required IPE activities. everyday work. Complete an integrative project to influence IPC, research or education. IPE teaching series

Each of the four sessions lasted Twenty-two faculty members Four sessions: (i) IPEC (i) Identify opportunities for attended at least one session and 1.5 h: 45 min didactic and competencies and developing IPE; (ii) describe 15 attended more than half of 45 min of active-learning instructional methods, possible delivery methods the sessions; at least one faculty and application. (ii) IPE instructional for IPE; (iii) develop intermember represented each of the Participants were paired with design principles, (iii) professional facilitation six colleges at the university. mentors to meet for a month IPE group facilitation skills (iv) compare and Survey data were collected volunof experiential learning in and (iv) IPE evaluation contrast evaluation/assesstarily/anonymously 1 month IPE. and assessment methods. ment methods for IPE and after the entire series was comComplete an interprofes(v) apply concepts of pleted. Eleven participants sional project. instructional design and (50%) completed the entire national competencies to evaluation and 480% agreed develop an IPE experience. ‘‘as a result of the Interprofessional Teaching Series, I applied/ demonstrated. . .’’. (i) National IPE competencies; (ii) delivery methods for IPE; (iii) instructional design for IPE; (iv) group facilitation skills for interprofessional learners and (v) assessment and evaluation methods for IPE.

Interprofessional Institute

Maralynne D. Mitcham Interprofessional Fellowship

The Institute was the first component implemented in 2008, and the purpose was to develop faculty to model and advocate for interprofessional collaboration in education, research and clinical practice. The Institute consisted of six sessions, held monthly, each lasting 2.5 h. Participants acquired and applied knowledge and skills in specific areas of interprofessional collaboration.

The Fellowship was implemented in 2012 and designed to offer an in-depth experience for selected faculty to direct their career trajectory toward interprofessional work. The purpose was to develop faculty to assume new leadership roles in interprofessional education, research, practice and/or administration. A modest stipend was offered to fellows to support their work.

DOI: 10.3109/13561820.2014.940417

Developing a comprehensive faculty development program

Through a competitive application process, up to two fellows are selected annually.

Many important lessons were learned through the process of developing a comprehensive FDP, including: support by either department or university level administration is a key to success. Support can be offered in verbal, time or monetary terms; encouraging the scholarship of interprofessional education, practice or research is a worthwhile incentive to encourage faculty participation; schedule and time conflicts will always be a challenge – a comprehensive broad-based approach allows flexibility if participants cannot attend or participate in all the sessions; completion of project requirements can be challenging for faculty – allowance for additional time or modification of plans can be beneficial for participants; providing opportunities for mentorship both formally with assigned mentors, circles or panels and informally with networking are important; qualitative feedback is important and holding focus groups or individual interviews has provided the best data for refining and improving the FDP; following up with past participants is critical. Continued encouragement and support builds capacity and sustains the momentum. For example, past participants are helping to deliver program components or serving as mentors. In summary, a comprehensive FDP has been an important component to foster the interprofessional mission at our institution. Faculty development efforts regarding interprofessional education and practice have evolved with time and have proven longevity. Utilizing a variety of offerings with adult learning theories underpinning all of the components of the FDP has been a key element in the program’s success. Other health science universities could consider implementing the FDP to meet their interprofessional needs.

IPE teaching series The IPE teaching series was implemented in 2012 and designed for faculty members that specifically identified themselves as educators and wanted to focus on IPE. The purpose of the series was to increase faculty members’ involvement in IPE, improve their teaching competence and encourage leadership in IPE initiatives. The teaching series included four interactive sessions, each lasting 1.5 h.

Evaluation A total of 102 faculty members have participated in FDP activities. Evaluation of the FDP used a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods and metrics. A continuous quality improvement approach has governed evaluation of activities with the intent to learn from participants what offerings have been valuable and what could be improved. A variety of survey instruments have been administered to participants. In addition to survey comments, the FDP co-director met individually with participants to ascertain their learning interests and collect feedback to shape future faculty development efforts. Data were collected to determine how various components of the FDP have increased the capacity for providing and delivering interprofessional education and practice at MUSC. Participants identified a number of opportunities these experiences provided including networking, becoming involved in additional interprofessional initiatives, and gaining practice in working and leading interprofessional teams. Recognition by university administration and celebrations for their participation was highly valued. Currently, 50% of the participants continue to support interprofessional initiatives in some capacity by teaching or facilitating interprofessional curricular activities, serving on committees, sponsoring interprofessional events, and collaborating with a wide variety of healthcare providers to promote interprofessional practice and education. See Table 1 for a detailed description and evaluation of the FDP. Limitations of our data include the use of attitudes scales which do not measure changes in behaviors or outcomes and a low response rate of faculty completing quantitative surveys.

Discussion The comprehensive FDP described in this report can serve as an exemplary model for use at other institutions. The program used best evidence from general FDPs, as well as adult learning theories as a foundation. The program has built capacity of faculty to sustain its interprofessional education and practice needs. For example at our institution, many of the small group facilitators for required IPE student activities and new initiatives in education, research and clinical practice are drawn from faculty participants in the FDP. The FDP has proven longevity; the program is now entering its sixth year and faculty participation continues to increase. The comprehensive FDP will continue at the university and the next steps in expanding the program to preceptors outside of the university are underway.


Declaration of interest The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of this article.

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Developing a comprehensive faculty development program to promote interprofessional education, practice and research at a free-standing academic health science center.

There is an on-going transformation in health professions education to prepare students to function as competent members of an interprofessional team ...
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