needed to develop behavioral and social science content, teaching methods, and evaluation strategies (Steinert et al., 2003). A well-supported career development program in the behavioral and social sciences would free promising faculty members from competing responsibilities so they could pursue such efforts. Individuals receiving the awards could also serve as resources for other medical schools trying to enhance their behavioral and social science curricula (Cooke et al., 2003; Morzinski and Simpson, 2003).

Conclusion 3. Instruction in the behavioral and social sciences suffers from a lack of qualified faculty, inadequate support and incentives for existing faculty, and the absence of career development programs in the behavioral and social sciences.

Recommendation 3. Establish a career development award strategy. Because the provision of career development awards has been an effective strategy for improving instruction and research in other health-related areas, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research of the National Institutes of Health or private foundations, or both, should establish a career development awards program to produce leaders in the behavioral and social sciences in medical schools.

Faculty Development Programs

In addition to developing a cadre of leaders in the behavioral and social sciences, there is a need to improve the behavioral and social science–related teaching skills of a broader group of medical school faculty. Faculty development leads to improved skills for all faculty members as educators and scholars, and should be part of institutional policies for the promotion of academic excellence (Wilkerson and Irby, 1998). The improved skills that can be achieved through faculty development include the ability to write educational objectives, design and select teaching methods, develop and apply principles of learning, have enhanced presentation skills, lead small-group discussions, use effective questioning strategies, refine evaluation and feedback skills, and use educational technologies effectively (Hemmer and Pangaro, 2000; Hewson, 2000; Lang et al., 2000; Neely et al., 2000; Sachdeva, 2000).

A curricular innovation is more likely to be adopted when the faculty members involved understand its theoretical underpinnings and are trained in the skills required for its implementation (Bland et al., 2000a). One initial training session for faculty at the beginning of a project is not enough. Follow-up coaching, coupled with opportunities to engage in problem solving with colleagues as new skills are being practiced, can significantly enhance the implementation process. Workshops lasting at least 2 days, followed up with practice, feedback, and re-

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement