A Teaching Scholars Program (TSP) was established in 1998 in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine with the mission of building knowledgeable and skilled educational leaders, teachers, and scholars. Conducted through the Office of Medical Education (OME), the TSP is a 10-month program that accepts 12 scholars per year. Financial support for the program, including salary support for co-directors and staff, is provided by the OME. Scholars’ departments are required to provide release time for one afternoon per week for 10 months.
The TSP provides participants with an intensive weekly seminar series, collaborative learning experiences, mentored projects, and a network of educational colleagues. The weekly seminars use an interactive format to address topics within seven targeted areas: (1) learning theory; (2) teaching methods; (3) curriculum development/evaluation; (4) assessment of learning; (5) leadership and organizational change; (6) career development; and (7) educational research.
Since its inception, 76 scholars have graduated from or are currently enrolled in the TSP. The majority are clinicians at assistant professor rank, although four basic scientists, two medical students, and three OME staff members have also participated in the program. The TSP is highly valued by participants, and preliminary evaluation data suggest that the program has resulted in an increase in educational research, scholarly activities, and the number of skilled and knowledgeable faculty with major leadership roles in medical education at UCSF. Challenges facing the TSP include scholar release time, mentoring time, and follow-up contact to encourage TSP graduates’ postgraduation productivity, continuing educational development, and support.
Dr. Muller is professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
Dr. Irby is vice dean for education and professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Muller, Box 0900, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0900; telephone: (415) 476-6051; e-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org).