Local faculty development programs may not suffice for physicians to learn about global standards in clinical teaching. This report describes the evaluation of a 1-week international faculty development program in Canada, incorporating on-site observations of clinical teaching with guided reflection, for Japanese clinical teachers. Participants' perceptions of learning processes and outcomes are described.
Twenty-nine Japanese clinical teachers from 9 different teaching hospitals located in the Gifu province participated in this program from 2014 to 2017. The program evaluation consisted of end-of-program reflection reports and semistructured interviews conducted 3 months after the visit, which were thematically analyzed.
Three themes related to learning processes emerged: the benefits of observing clinical teaching in a familiar specialty but unfamiliar context; the value of reflection in linking previous experiences with observations; and the role of group interaction and verbalization in creating a sense of community. Three additional themes related to learning outcomes emerged: enhanced knowledge about teaching, with a renewed emphasis on the value of learner respect and trust; increased confidence in teaching competence; and a sense of frustration related to difficulty in changing the status quo.
An international faculty development program incorporating on-site observational learning in hospital settings with guided reflections can be effective in learning about clinical teaching; follow-up activities in the home country are also recommended. The key elements of this program, including international experiences, on-site observational learning, and guided reflections, should be considered more frequently in faculty development programs in medicine.