Humanising medical education through faculty development: Linking self-awareness and teaching skills

Linda H. Pololi, Richard M. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: We conducted a longitudinal faculty development programme for medical school faculty, focused on enhancing learner-centred teaching skills, by integrating traditional elements of education, focusing on knowledge, skills and attitudes, with the non-traditional process elements of community building, self-awareness and relationship formation. METHODS: This year-long programme enrolled faculty from a range of clinical departments at a single institution. The participants gathered for day-long sessions in each of 9 months and also met at lunch-time once a month for 'booster' meetings. Sessions were organised according to content areas identified as relevant to enhancing teaching skills. In addition to each content area, a variety of experiential and process learning methods were incorporated and modelled in each session. The impact of the programme was assessed using self-report data after each session, and together with paired interviews at the completion of the programme. EVALUATION: Programme attendance was 97%. Qualitative thematic and content analysis showed that faculty reported renewed energy and enthusiasm for teaching, as well as skills mastery. Faculty also reported significant improvements in self-awareness and habits of lifelong learning. Many faculty members felt that a singular benefit of the programme was developing and nurturing personal as opposed to instrumental relationships. CONCLUSIONS: It is feasible to successfully convene clinical faculty from different departments in the same faculty development programme with little or no concern for competition and conflict. The key to success is integrating content and process dimensions into a framework of community building and collective engagement. From the participants' perspective, skills and confidence, which by self-report increased for all participants, was less consequential than the opportunity to learn about themselves and their relationships to others in a safe environment. We have conducted this programme for 5 successive years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005


  • Curriculum
  • Education, medical, undergraduate/*methods
  • Faculty/education
  • Programme evaluation
  • Self-awarness
  • Teaching/standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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