Evidenced-based educational practice: The case for faculty development in teaching

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

12 Scopus citations


There is emerging objective evidence that better teaching results in more student learning. Given that faculty development in teaching improves participants' teaching, the weight of the evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of faculty development in teaching. Nevertheless, much work needs to be done, and many questions remain (19). For example, do all faculty benefit equally from faculty development or only the motivated ones? How often must faculty development programs occur? What "refresher" program is probably required to provide persistent benefits? How ambitious in scope does the program need to be, given limited resources? But lest we are tempted to forget, faculty development may have other benefits besides "hard" outcomes. For example, the symbolic function of faculty development is important, clearly showing faculty and learners the value placed on teaching by funding it. In addition, the dynamic experience that a teaching encounter can be or the joy it can inspire may not be completely captured in these hard outcomes. The best teachers change not only the factual base of students but also the perceptual filter through which they view knowledge by broadening perspectives, teaching self-renewal, and rekindling intellectual fire; these outcomes may not be easily measurable. All clinicians remember those special clinical teachers who truly inspired us in our training, whose image we have kept in our hearts and minds as the clinician we aspire to be, and the enduring legacy of those teachers. This is the legacy we leave for our students and residents now; our image, our example for them to look up to, not easily measured, but no less palpable and real. Therefore, the question is no longer how can we afford to fund faculty development in teaching, but rather, how can we not invest in our enduring legacy?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-752
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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