Choosing program evaluation committee members

Residency Program Insider, November 19, 2020

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Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from The Program Evaluation Committee Handbook. For more information about this book, click here. 

The program director should have a general idea of how the PEC will operate prior to recruiting members. Some committees may be composed of only the required three members—two faculty and one resident or fellow member— whereas others, such as for smaller fellowship PECs, may include all faculty.

To promote committee membership in any scenario, though, start by recruiting faculty who have a strong interest in education. Ask your residents or fellows which faculty give high-yield didactic sessions, provide supportive supervision, or offer meaningful mentorship. The PD can solicit these faculty in the hopes that they would like to become more involved in the residency or fellowship program. The PD may also simply ask for volunteers after presenting the PEC concept at a meeting. Some individuals may not feel comfortable asking to be a member, so offering such an opportunity allows them to volunteer and accept the offer.

Appointing three people to a committee does not seem like a difficult thing to do, but due to increased clinical responsibilities, faculty may be reluctant to take on additional obligations. For this reason, the PD will often be a committee member. The PD may be a part of the committee, but it is beneficial to have individuals who are not directly involved with the program’s administration serve on the committee and report to the PD. Doing so may result in a more objective evaluation of the program.

It may take some effort to recruit members; offering incentives can help in this endeavor. The PD can ask the department chair to grant educational RVUs for PEC membership. The PD can ask for support from the chair or section head to give members dedicated administrative, non-clinical time to devote to committee responsibilities. Another incentive may be highlighting the efforts of the PEC members with a yearly award during the senior graduation dinner or department awards luncheon or dinner. If those who invest their time are distinguished for their hard work in front of their peers, faculty who are not currently involved in the educational activities of the program may express greater interest.

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