Priority Competencies for Designated Education Officers in the Veterans Health Administration

Duane R Bidwell, Anita Samuel, Ronald M Cervero, Steven J Durning, Sherri L Stephan, Erin L Patel, Marjorie A Bowman, Holly S Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Designated Education Officers (DEOs) at Veteran Health Administration (VHA) hospitals are senior educational leaders tasked with oversight of all clinical training at a particular facility. They prioritize dozens of tasks and responsibilities each day, from educational policy and strategy to staff management, financial planning, onboarding of trainees, and facility planning and management. Clarifying priority competencies for the role can help executives recruit, appoint, and evaluate capable personnel and promote effective, efficient performance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a federally developed method of competency analysis, researchers consulted a panel of subject-matter experts to identify priority competencies for DEOs, using data from a 2013 study that operationalizes competencies for more than 200 federal jobs.

RESULTS: The research identified 25 primary competencies within 6 leadership domains. Five of the primary competencies cut across all leadership domains.

CONCLUSIONS: Veteran Health Administration subject-matter experts in educational leadership say the identified competencies are urgently needed, critical for effective leadership, and valuable for distinguishing superior DEO performance. The competencies are relevant to VHA and perhaps other senior academic leaders who develop health professions education programs, oversee clinical training, and manage educational change. In military training facilities, attending to these competencies can help Designated Institutional Officials responsible for graduate medical education become more credible partners to other hospital leaders and contribute to becoming a high reliability organization. Executives identifying, recruiting, and appointing VHA DEOs and Designated Institutional Officials at military training facilities should consider these competencies when assessing candidates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMilitary Medicine
StateE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2024

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