In This Issue
Director's Message
Director photo

Faculty Development: Who? What? When? Where? How?... It's Complicated!

According to a recent definition provided by Yvonne Steinert, faculty development refers to experiences that we pursue "to improve our knowledge, skills and behaviors as teachers and educators, leaders and managers, and researchers and scholars, in both individual and group settings" (Steinert, 2014). In this context, the goals of faculty development can focus on a broad range of changing needs that span our careers as educators as well as the major mission areas that define our academic lives: teaching, scholarship and service.

Like most other things within CHM, faculty development is complicated, with multiple units-OMERAD, Faculty Affairs and Development and others-offering faculty development programs and resources (figure). Each of these units supports faculty development, although most tend to focus on specific areas of development. Underlying this, some faculty development functions are supported by the CHM human resources infrastructure. Additionally, MSU offers a wide range of faculty development opportunities through multiple units. One important source is the Office of Faculty and Organizational Development, which is a focal point for resources available to all MSU faculty. So, a casual inquiry about "faculty development" can quickly evolve into a game of 20 questions about the faculty member's rank and type of appointment, his/her academic unit, as well as questions about role in the curriculum, preferred approaches, personal motivations and personal goals. It is confusing.


And speaking of faculty development, a book published last year provides a long-needed review of the state-of-the-art of faculty development. This edited volume considers faculty development in terms of intended goals: teaching improvement, leadership and management, building research capacity, career development and organizational change. In the second part, the chapters are organized around approaches to faculty development: workplace learning, communities of practice, peer coaching and mentoring, seminars, intensive programming and online programming. There are also chapters that review applications, research and scholarship providing evidence to support planning and implementation of faculty development. Interested in learning more? This book  is available as an e-book from the MSU Library (click here). Link may require MSU EZproxy authentication to access article.  


Yvonne Steinert will be visiting MSU in May. See the Spotlight article in this issue for more information.



  • Steinert, Y. (Editor). Faculty development in the health professions: A focus on research and practice. Springer. 2014. Page 4.
Brian Mavis, PhD 

Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine

- OMERAD Medical Education Mini Grant Program

OMERAD is accepting proposals for its Medical Education Mini Grant Program. The mini grant awards are intended to promote collaboration and synergy among faculty of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, to encourage educational research relationships between departments within the institution, and to foster research and scholarship in undergraduate medical education. All full-time faculty may submit proposals for the Medical Education Mini Grant program. DEADLINE for application is April 15, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. See full application procedure details at: 

- Assessing Change: Evaluating Cultural Competence Education and Training 
To help educators identify curricular strategies and evaluation tools for re-use or enhancement, the AAMC commissioned an expert panel to review cultural competence studies that measured learner changes in attitudes, knowledge, and skills. This guide, which is based on the panel's findings, provides these resources for educators and researchers:
  • An inventory of the research studies that assess the outcomes of cultural competence education and training
  • Four recommended strategies to advance the research and evaluation
  • A Cultural Competence Assessment Tool Checklist, along with a guide to using the tool, to help educators and research measure facets of cultural competence in published assessment tools
  • An overview of three evaluation approaches for curriculum development and evaluation
To access the publication, click here.

2015 Jack L. Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education Announced

The 2015 Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education is Yvonne Steinert, PhD, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University in Montreal. Dr. Steinert, the 14th Maatsch Visiting Scholar, is a clinical psychologist as well as being the Director of the Centre for Medical Education and the Richard and Sylvia Cruess Chair in Medical Education. Her educational interests relate to teaching and learning in medicine, the impact of faculty development on the individual and the organization, and the continuing professional development of faculty members.


The tentative title of Dr. Steinert's lecture is Faculty Development and Learner Assessment: The Missing Link. The lecture and reception will be held at the Henry Center at Michigan State University on the morning of Tuesday, May 12th. Access to the lecture will be available live and videoconferenced.


The purpose of the Jack L. Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education Fund is to stimulate and support interaction around ideas and projects in medical education, with primary focus on the development and assessment of clinical competence related to the full span of professional training.


Jack Maatsch served as a professor in OMERAD from 1971 to 1980. He collaborated in and led a series of projects focused on the application of instructional theory and technologies, especially simulation technology, to teaching and assessment in medicine. In the mid-1970's Jack collaborated with the American College of Emergency Physicians in the development of a criterion-referenced specialty certification examination. This was the start of a collaboration in research and development, which he led over a period of almost fifteen years.


He served as director of OMERAD from 1980 until 1989, broadening the range of activities of the office and stimulating significant research and service projects within the College of Human Medicine and the University. He retired in 1990.


More specific details of the Maatsch Lecture will be announced soon. Please keep the date available.


Featured Project: Interactive Guide to the Physical Examination


The Interactive Guide to the Physical Examination is an online module introducing the physical examination to year one medical students. It begins by introducing the physical examination in general, and then provides sufficient introduction to the general appearance and vital signs portions of the examination that a student can begin practicing these skills. Students use this interactive tutorial at the beginning of their physical examination course.

After reviewing the online module the student would be able to: 

  1. Understand general physical examination concepts and specific concepts regarding general appearance and vital signs well enough to begin practicing these portions of the physical examination.
  2. Explain general physical examination concepts.
  3. Explain general appearance.
  4. Explain vital signs including blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and temperature.

In CHM, the module is used in the Year 1 spring semester Clinical Skills course, which is focused on learning, practicing, and demonstrating competence in the physical examination. Students view this module on their own in preparation for their first small group practice session, at which time they practice the steps learned in the module on each other with feedback from clinical faculty.


You can now access the module thru MedEdPORTAL, click here.

  • Roskos S, Plantegenest G, Han C, Wagner D. Interactive Guide to the Physical Examination. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2015. 
Geraud Plantegenest, MA

Manager, Blended Curricular Learning Resources (B-CLR)  

Office of Medical Education Research and Development 

517-353-3455 | [email protected]     

programeval CHM Program Evaluation

Faculty Development Through the Years: A Legacy of Innovation


When the College of Human Medicine was founded fifty years ago, Dean Andrew Hunt's first hire was Hilliard Jason, M.D. to head the Office of Medical Education Research and Development. Dean Hunt envisioned an innovative curriculum to prepare physicians in the spirit of "Serving the People." Since the establishment of OMERAD in 1966 it assumed major involvement in undergraduate medical education including the development and teaching of PBL and integration of the behavioral and social science in the curriculum. Two areas of early curricular innovation were emphases on Doctor-Patient Communication and clinical decision-analysis.


National Call for Faculty Development 

In 1966, the Millis Report of the Citizens Commission on Graduate Medical Education called for the training of more primary care physicians. In the decade following this report there were significant changes in medical education. New departments of family practice were added to the organization of clinical departments in medical schools and the approval of family practice residency programs signaled new direction and growth. By the early1970's OMERAD became a venue for the education and training of medical school faculty. A Medical Education Fellows Program attracted faculty around the world and across the country to study medical education as a distinct discipline. Many were on sabbatical from other medical schools while others pursued advanced degrees with a special cognate in medical education.


The need for more trained faculty, especially in family medicine, was critical. Department chairs and residency directors were constantly searching for faculty who, for the most part, were recruited from private practice. Beyond recruitment, new faculty required training to become teachers and members of the academic community. The Bureau of Health Manpower (Public Health Service) sponsored a competition for faculty development programs to build the ranks of trained faculty members in family medicine. Under the direction of William Anderson Ph.D, OMERAD proposed its first faculty development training program in 1976. That program was funded and nearly 33 years, 601 fellows and 14 million dollars later, OMERAD is still designing and implementing creative programs to prepare physicians to be excellent faculty. In this issue of Vital Signs we take a retrospective view of our faculty development accomplishments and look forward to new programs.


Dr. Reznich facilitates a PubMed session as part of the OMERAD faculty development training bootcamp.


Our Faculty Development mission in OMERAD pursued two broad categories: internal (college) programs and external (national) programs.


National Faculty Development Programs
  • OMERAD sponsored a Fellowship in Medical Education for health professionals interested in studying educational problems in an innovative environment. In the 1960's-1970's nearly 100 health professionals from six continents were in residence in East Lansing, usually for a year or more of intense work and study.
  • Primary Care Faculty Development Programs funded by Public Health Service. Across four decades OMERAD sponsored three distinct programs:

    • Home-On Campus Traineeship in which Fellows participated in three separate week-long programs on campus, completing projects and assignments at their home institution between sessions.                                                                       

    •  In 1984 OMERAD was funded to expand training for faculty development to include general internal medicine and general pediatric faculty. Rebecca Henry Ph.D and Patrick Alguire M.D. directed this Fellowship until PHS approved the first Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship as it merged Family Medicine and Medicine-Pediatrics.

    • The third funded program was funded by PHS to develop a faculty development curriculum for primary care faculty. This project created self-standing faculty development workshop modules for faculty and residents. 
College Faculty and Instructional Development Programs
From the beginning, OMERAD has been central in CHM's original curriculum design, the "New Curriculum" implemented in 1990 and the current New Shared Discovery curriculum.
Dr. Henry demonstrates uses of audio-visual equipment for physician faculty in medical education.
  • Faculty development in 1990 focused on preparing faculty for their roles in creating problem domains for the PBL curriculum, leading mentor groups and teaching clinical skills and medical humanities. OMERAD directed evaluation of the new curriculum, instructional design and faculty development.
  • From the middle 1970's OMERAD has sponsored a Faculty Development and Instructional Development Seminar Series. Many of the early offerings were in teaching psychomotor skills and Doctor-Patient communication in small groups. More recent topics addressed technology applications and formats blending self-paced instruction to improve instructional design and teaching.
  • In 2004 as a result of college-wide strategic planning, a new Office of Faculty Affairs and Development was created. Led by Associate Dean William Wadland, with consultative support from William Anderson Ph.D and OMERAD, FAD sponsors career development programs for CHM faculty; New Faculty Orientation; Academic Leadership Program for Department Chairs and Division Directors; and a Mentorship program to support new faculty in the tenure stream.
  • In 2014, the College launched CHM CORPS (Community Outreach Program Specialists). Based on outreach models already common to healthcare delivery-pharmaceutical detailing and academic detailing-a CHM-based outreach team was developed to focus on the needs of community faculty, particularly with regards to their role as educators of our medical students. CHM CORPS staff work closely with the community assistant deans and OMERAD on the recruitment and retention of community preceptors.
  • In recognition of the growing number of excellent resources available to faculty via the Internet and to support the efforts of CHM CORPS, the OMERAD website CHM Educator was launched last year to support classroom and clinical teaching.

In OMERAD you might say, faculty development is in our DNA. During the last 50 years we have been national leaders in training medical school faculty for their teaching roles. Within CHM over 200 of our faculty have participated in our fellowships, seminars and workshops. We have been doing faculty and instructional development for 50 years. The upcoming Shared Discovery Curriculum with innovations in early clinical experience, learning societies, and progress testing translate to a future of shared discovery in our roles as educators. 

facdevFaculty Development
OMERAD Seminar Series: Pilot Test Results for "How to Develop a Curriculum"  


The OMERAD Seminar Series ran a five-week course in January and February of this year called How to Develop a Curriculum. The course was presented entirely at a distance using a blended flipped classroom model, in which participants learn the content first on their own, then spend time with the instructor for feedback and discussion. We designed our course for CHM faculty, who are in different communities and do not have time to travel to East Lansing for faculty development.


Blended Course Design

Seven faculty participated in the course: two from Flint, four from East Lansing and one from Grand Rapids. The participants watched a module of the online instruction (narrated slide videos), then applied what they had learned by filling out a worksheet and emailing it to the two instructors. Once a week the participants individually met with the instructors via phone or desktop videoconferencing to receive feedback and to have their questions answered. Over the five-week period the participants and instructors held three group meetings using Zoom videoconferencing software. Each participant presented their work completed to date and received feedback from the other participants.


Self-Paced Course Design

We also provided an 11-week course for those who wanted to use the self-paced model alone, without communication during the course. We would provide feedback on the worksheets if the participant completed the entire course by the end of the 11-week period.



The participants in both groups agreed to be part of the pilot test, which involved completing pre- and post-course online surveys, short weekly surveys, and a live exit interview with the instructors. In the blended group six of the seven participants completed the course, for a completion rate of 86%. Compare this to the 13% (one of eight participants) in the self-paced group. Two of the participants in the self-paced group asked if they could be in the next iteration of the blended course as they were not able to finish on their own.


All participants in the blended group were satisfied with the flipped and blended design of the course and participants in both groups thought the course design made it convenient for them to take the course because they did not have to take the time to travel to a classroom and did not have to incorporate a scheduled class into their calendar.


Reasons for those in the blended and self-paced groups who did not finish included: too much work, not enough time, lost momentum, and some uncertainty about what to do. A comment from one of the non-finishers was: Maybe ironically, over the past two semesters, I have been completely overwhelmed with developing and now teaching a brand-new class.


The one person in the self-paced group who finished gave these as reasons she was able to finish: she finishes what she starts, she likes to learn new ways of teaching, and she is a "loner" who likes to work on projects by herself.


Those who completed the course in both groups thought the course was effective in helping them design and develop a curriculum. We will contact them during fall semester to see if they have pilot tested and implemented their curricula.


Comments from Participants

The tutorial alone would have been a problem. The blended course kept me on task. Instructor feedback helped clarify my thinking, and was challenging.


I couldn't have progressed as well without feedback from instructors. It helped me focus and clarify. Feedback was the best part.


The course worked great! It got me moving on [my curriculum project], thinking of it earlier than without. It made me think about it differently, more systematically, less casual, more efficient and comprehensive.


I got lots of ideas, including how to put together a workshop using a systematic instructional design format.


I can see how I can use Zoom to teach at a distance.


We are analyzing the data from our own pilot test and are planning revisions to the course based on that data. We will be offering the courses again. Contact Deborah Sleight, PhD, at [email protected] if you would like to be added to the list.


hotpressHot Off the Press


- Roskos S, Plantegenest G, Han C, Wagner D. Interactive Guide to the Physical Examination. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2015.   

resourcesOMERAD Resources

B-CLR Showcase 

An interactive gallery featuring examples of CHM blended and online learning projects by B-CLR


CHM Educator 

A website with Information to help you teach, whether in a classroom or in a clinic 



A medical education listserv maintained by OMERAD


Medical Education Online (MEO)  

Peer-reviewed international open access journal for disseminating information on the education and training of physicians and other health care professionals


Vital Signs Newsletter Archive

Click on the link to view past issues of our newsletter


Medical Education Scholarship Group

Meets first Wednesday of each month in room A116 East Fee Hall (East Lansing) and 451 Secchia Center (Grand Rapids) from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm. The purpose is to develop and support scholarship related to our educational program. Got an idea?  Need an inspiration?  Looking for collaborators? Join us! For questions about this group contact Dr. Brian Mavis: [email protected]


OMERAD Technology Center (OTC)  

Units within the College of Human Medicine interested in sponsoring faculty and/or staff development programs in support of education and scholarship may request use of the room.The OTC is located in A211 East Fee Hall. For questions about the OTC contact John Williamson: [email protected]  


The Office of Medical Education Research and Development is a unit within the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Its mission is to improve medical education and related service programs through evaluation and research consultation, relevant instruction, and programs of faculty development.


Established in 1966, OMERAD is the oldest continuously operating office of medical education in the United States.


A-202 East Fee Hall

965 Fee Road 

East Lansing, Michigan 48824


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