A Common Trajectory Toward a Professional Identity as a Faculty Developer

Caleb W. Kiesow, George R. Mount, Jessica Bunin, Kevin C. McMains, Thomas McFate, Joshua Hartzell, Jessica T. Servey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Professional identity formation is a complex construct that continually evolves in relation to an individual's experiences. The literature on educators identifying as faculty developers is limited and incompletely addresses how that identify affects other identities, careers, and influences on teaching. Twenty-six health professionals were trained to serve as faculty developers within our educational system. We sought to examine the factors that influence the professional identity of these faculty developers and to determine whether a common trajectory existed. METHODS: We employed a constructivist thematic analysis methodology using an inductive approach to understand the experiences of faculty developers. We conducted semistructured recorded interviews. Coding and thematic analysis were completed iteratively. RESULTS: We identified eight primary themes: (1) initial invitation, (2) discovery of faculty development as a professional activity, (3) discovery of educational theory, skills, and need for more education, (4) process of time and experience, (5) fostering relationships and community, (6) transfer of skills to professional and personal roles, (7) experiences that lead to credibility, and (8) sense of greater impact. CONCLUSIONS: An individual's journey to a faculty developer identity is variable, with several shared pivotal experiences that help foster the emergence of this identity. Consideration of specific programmatic elements to support the themes identified might allow for a strategic approach to faculty development efforts in health professions education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024


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