Tip of the week: Recognize and alleviate faculty dissatisfaction

Residency Program Insider, October 19, 2010

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Program directors should be aware of common signs of dissatisfaction and know how to approach faculty exhibiting those signs. Watch for the following common signs of discontent:

  • Low attendance at meetings: Two factors cause faculty to miss meetings: apathy and time. Those who are indifferent to teaching will feel similarly about presenting lectures or attending meetings regarding resident education, and they will skip them. Lack of attendance can also be a sign that the faculty member is overwhelmed by his or her patient care responsibilities.
  • Missing deadlines: An easy way for faculty members to passively show their displeasure is by missing deadlines. Regularly check in with the coordinator to see who is behind in turning in evaluations or other documentation.
  • Difficulty finding teachers: Informally track how often faculty members offer to help you out. For example, there’s probably a lot of discontent if an attending physician calls in sick and no one responds to your request to cover his or her teaching responsibilities.

If you find that any of these situations are prevalent in your program, have a conversation with the faculty members involved. Although these conversations can be uncomfortable, it is better to handle them before the problem escalates. Do not approach faculty members in an accusatory manner. Instead, tell them you’re concerned by their behaviors and ask what is bothering them. Faculty members are human, too, so don’t be surprised if the problem they share is personal in nature.

This week’s tip is from The Complete Residency Program Management Guide.

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