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The Impact of a National Faculty Development Program Embedded Within an Academic Professional Organization

Baldwin, Constance D. PhD; Gusic, Maryellen E. MD; Chandran, Latha MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001496

A sizeable literature describes the effectiveness of institution-based faculty development programs in nurturing faculty educators as scholars, but national programs are less common and seldom evaluated. To fill this role, the Educational Scholars Program (ESP) was created within the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) in 2006. It is a national, three-year, cohort-based certification program focused on fostering educational scholarship. This article describes the development and outcomes of an innovative program embedded within the framework of a national professional organization, and offers a model for potential adaptation by similar organizations to enhance their support of educators.

After 10 years, 171 scholars have enrolled in the ESP, and 50 faculty have participated. Scholars are assigned a faculty advisor and participate in three full-day sessions at a national meeting; online, interactive learning modules; and a mentored, scholarly project. The program receives support from the APA in four organizational frames: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. The self-perceived scholarly proficiency of the scholars in Cohort 1 increased significantly over time, and their productivity and collaborations increased during and after the program. Scholars wrote enthusiastically about their experience in yearly and postprogram evaluations. In interviews, eight past APA presidents explained that the ESP strengthened the APA’s mission, created new leaders, and provided a new model for other APA programs. Outcomes of the ESP suggest that a longitudinal faculty development program embedded within a national professional organization can create a social enterprise not only within the organization but also within the broader national community of educator–scholars.

C.D. Baldwin is professor of pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, and director, Educational Scholars Program, Academic Pediatric Association, McLean, Virginia.

M.E. Gusic was executive associate dean for educational affairs, Dolores and John Read Professor of Medical Education, and professor of pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, at the time this work was completed.

L. Chandran is professor of pediatrics and vice dean for undergraduate medical education, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, New York.

Funding/Support: The Academic Pediatric Association provided financial support for the Educational Scholars Program from 2006 to 2009, when Cohort 1 was enrolled.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: This study received institutional review board approval from the Penn State College of Medicine and the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Correspondence should be addressed to Constance D. Baldwin, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, PO Box 777, 601 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, NY 14642; telephone: (585) 275-8425; e-mail:

© 2017 by the Association of American Medical Colleges