Soaring costs of health care, patients living longer with chronic illnesses, and continued attrition of interest in primary care contribute to the urgency of developing an improved model of health care delivery. Out of this need, the concept of the team-based, patient-centered medical home (PCMH) has developed. Amidst implementation in academic settings, clinical teachers face complex challenges not previously encountered: teaching while simultaneously learning about the PCMH model, redesigning clinical delivery systems while simultaneously delivering care within them, and working more closely in expanded interprofessional teams.
To address these challenges, the authors reviewed three existing faculty development models and recommended four important adaptations for preparing clinical teachers for their roles as system change agents and facilitators of learning in these new settings. First, many faculty find themselves in the awkward position of teaching concepts they have yet to master themselves. Professional development programs must recognize that, at least initially, health professions learners and faculty will be learning system redesign content and skills together while practicing in the evolving workplace. Second, all care delivery team members influence learning in the workplace. Thus, the definition of faculty must expand to include nurses, pharmacists, social workers, medical assistants, patients, and others. These team members will need to accept their roles as educators. Third, learning to deliver health care in teams will require support of both interprofessional collaboration and intraprofessional identity development. Fourth, learning to manage change and uncertainty should be part of the core content of any faculty development program within the PCMH.