Traveling Time

May 09 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Tomorrow I depart the US of A for Canada, our friendly neighbors to the north, where I will present a poster at the first International Conference on Faculty Development in the Health Professions.

Faculty development has been my hobby for a few years. It represents the efforts made by most institutions to provide skills for their faculty that were not part of their original training. Academic personnel in medical centers usually have clinical and research expertise, but teaching skills typically receive no attention in training programs. Administrative and leadership skills, also necessary for academic advancement, are typically ignored in doctoral training programs. Some faculty in clinical specialties never learn how to write an abstract or paper!

When I move to Oklahoma later this year, one-third of my job will be faculty development, and I plan to make this my new area of scholarship. The conference includes all sorts of interesting stuff on the science of the field. Currently, we ask participants in programs if they like what we did and if it will change their practices. We need ways to move beyond this type of assessment, and several sessions will cover this topic.

My own research covers another hot topic, interdisciplinary education. Most academic health centers include colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and other types of health disciplines. Why don't we learn more about stuff together instead of in college-specific silos? Nebraska's leadership course, The Administrative Colloquium, has included all academic units for more than a decade. Similarities among participants far outweigh any differences in attitudes or skill sets.

I have to leave my computer to go home and pack. My kid is playing baseball in the district finals tonight (he had a triple and 2 rbis in Saturday's game), and I plan to make the game as well.

5 responses so far

  • If you need some ideas for this stuff, I took part in an voluntary interdisciplinary program in grad school that was really useful. I thought it would be like herding cats but we all played nice together and got stuff done.

  • If you need some ideas for this stuff, I took part in an voluntary interdisciplinary program in grad school that was really useful. I thought it would be like herding cats but we all played nice together and got stuff done. .

  • WhizBANG! says:

    My kid's team lost last night. Now we have to wait until all games finish to see if they get a wild card slot for the state tournament.

  • Kaija says:

    I'd be interested to hear your summary of the conference...sounds like a good one and probably a lot of good interaction and discussion with other attendees (if the schedule leaves time and space for it). I agree that the health professions, especially with the increasingly multidisciplinary nature and the crossover between clinical and lab research, are a unique slice of academia.

    And I hope you enjoy some of Toronto! I came to U of T from the Midwest and Southern US and have found it to be a very vibrant and enjoyable city to live and work in 🙂

  • Dr. O says:

    The conference sounds like a great idea! I love the faculty development seminars given at my MRU, but I'm sure they could benefit from this type of extra interaction and training. I'd also second the interest in a summary, possibly as a blog post. 🙂

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