Most medical faculty receive little or no training about how to be effective teachers, even when they assume major educational leadership roles. To identify the competencies required of an effective teacher in medical education, the authors developed a comprehensive conceptual model.
After conducting a literature search, the authors met at a two-day conference (2006) with 16 medical and nonmedical educators from 10 different U.S. and Canadian organizations and developed an initial draft of the “Teaching as a Competency” conceptual model. Conference participants used the physician competencies (from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education [ACGME]) and the roles (from the Royal College's Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists [CanMEDS]) to define critical skills for medical educators. The authors then refined this initial framework through national/regional conference presentations (2007, 2008), an additional literature review, and expert input. Four core values grounded this framework: learner engagement, learner-centeredness, adaptability, and self-reflection.
The authors identified six core competencies, based on the ACGME competencies framework: medical (or content) knowledge; learner- centeredness; interpersonal and communication skills; professionalism and role modeling; practice-based reflection; and systems-based practice. They also included four specialized competencies for educators with additional programmatic roles: program design/implementation, evaluation/scholarship, leadership, and mentorship. The authors then cross-referenced the competencies with educator roles, drawing from CanMEDS, to recognize role-specific skills.
The authors have explored their framework's strengths, limitations, and applications, which include targeted faculty development, evaluation, and resource allocation. The Teaching as a Competency framework promotes a culture of effective teaching and learning.