Program director (PD) orientation to roles and responsibilities takes on many forms and processes. This article describes one institution's innovative arm of faculty development directed specifically toward PDs and associate PDs to provide institutional resources and information for those in graduate medical education leadership roles.
The designated institutional official created a separate faculty development curriculum for leadership development of PDs and associate PDs, modeled on the Association of American Medical Colleges-GRA (Group on Resident Affairs) graduate medical education leadership development course for designated institutional officials. It consists of monthly 90-minute sessions at the end of a working day, for new and experienced PDs alike, with mentoring provided by experienced PDs. We describe 2 iterations of the curriculum. To provide ongoing support a longitudinal curriculum of special topics has followed in the interval between core curriculum offerings.
Communication between PDs across disciplines has improved. The broad, inclusive nature allowed for experienced PDs to take advantage of the learning opportunity while providing exchange and mentorship through sharing of lessons learned. The participants rated the course highly and education process and outcome measures for the programs have been positive, including increased accreditation cycle lengths.
It is important and valuable to provide PDs and associate PDs with administrative leadership development and resources, separate from general faculty development, to meet their role-specific needs for orientation and development and to better equip them to meet graduate medical education leadership challenges. This endeavor provides a foundational platform for designated institutional official and PD interactions to work on program building and improvement.