Aurora Family Medicine Residency Program

Aurora Academic Affairs / Medical Education

Presentation Notes

Selected for poster presentation at ACGME Annual Education Meeting; March 9-12, 2017. Orlando, FL.



As the ACGME’s seeks to continue strengthening our GME programs through accreditation, the roles and expertise needed of GME faculty also evolves. Holmboe and colleagues (2011, 2015, 2016) have consistently argued that faculty need to continue to develop their competence in multiple areas ranging from competency-based teachers and assessors to skilled aligners of EPA assessments with care quality and safety. Concurrently, many clinician educators (CEs) face multiple and often competing clinical accountabilities and performance metrics as physicians in our continuously evolving health care markets (Nasca 2015, 2016). While a literature search revealed a plethora of recommendations for medical educators, they were often focused on educational research, scholarship and academic promotion and/or were non-U.S. based with limited acknowledgement re: CEs’ competing priorities (Simpson 2004, Cristancho 2016). However, the key CE career success elements are “known” by experienced senior medical educators (SMEs). Unfortunately, these keys are often provided 1-on-1 during discussions rather than publically available. Aggregating and sharing the collective wisdoms’ of distinguished SMEs regarding keys to CE career success will further strengthen and focus our faculty development efforts.


To provide U.S. based GME clinician educators (CEs) with the key elements - as crowdsourced by distinguished medical educators - to having a successful career in medical education.


To obtain the collective wisdoms of colleagues nationally, authors used a crowdsourcing approach targeting 42 senior medical educators (SME) were invited to participate via email. These SMEs included recipients of regional/national education/teaching awards (e.g., professional society, AOA Glaser), ME related journal editors/editorial board members, clinical department chairs, deans/associate deans for education, faculty development leaders, and/or Society of Directors of Research in ME members. SMEs were asked to hit reply and list their top five “keys to having a successful career as a CE”. Results were independently reviewed by authors and crosscutting themes identified. Findings were presented to two groups of junior clinician educators completing longitudinal faculty development programs and the themes were condensed, reframed and refined to be “action” oriented for use by individual educators, SME coaches, and/or faculty development program leaders.


21 MD/DO CEs and 20 PhD educators responded. Five actionable themes emerged , each framed as “you should:” (1) Begin by learning about yourself (e.g., what brings you meaning, risk tolerances); (2) Understand your “fit” within your setting/organization (e.g., what hired to do, what do you bosses need/expect); (3) Set your goals and do something (aim high but start small); (4) Take charge of your career and collaborate (“say no nicely”); and (5) Continue to teach, learn and grow as an educator (read; go to conferences; engage learners in your questions). Respondent comments revealed that this was a rarely discussed topic amongst senior educators and was highly engaging.


Nurturing the success of our faculty educators is vital if we are to continue to improve the quality of our residency/fellowship programs and proactively prepare our graduates for the 2035 practice scenarios emerging from the ACGME work. The actionable elements - be it from the lens of an individual faculty, a coach/chair, and/or program perspective - can be used to frame our efforts.

References (pasted in last section above)

  • Holmboe ES, Ward DS, Reznick RK, Katsufrakis PJ, Leslie KM, Patel VL, Ray DD, Nelson EA. Faculty development in assessment: the missing link in competency-based medical education. Academic Medicine. 2011 Apr 1;86(4):460-7.
  • Holmboe ES, Batalden P. Achieving the desired transformation: thoughts on next steps for outcomes-based medical education. Academic Medicine. 2015 Sep 1;90(9):1215-23.
  • Carraccio C, Englander R, Holmboe ES, Kogan JR. Driving care quality: Aligning trainee assessment and supervision through practical application of entrustable professional activities, competencies, and milestones. Academic Medicine. 2016 Feb 1;91(2):199-203.
  • J. Nasca T, W. Thomas C. Medicine in 2035: Selected Insights From ACGME's Scenario Planning. Journal of graduate medical education. 2015 Mar;7(1):139-42.
  • Nasca T. Physician Well Being – Letter to the Community. August 23, 2016. Accessed November 3, 2016
  • Simpson DE, Bragg D, Biernat K, Treat R. Outcomes results from the evaluation of the APA/HRSA Faculty Scholars Program. Ambulatory Pediatrics. 2004 Feb 29;4(1):103-12.
  • Cristancho S, Varpio L. Twelve tips for early career medical educators. Medical teacher. 2016 Apr 2;38(4):358-63.

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