An expanded model of faculty vitality in academic medicine
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- Dankoski, M.E., Palmer, M.M., Nelson Laird, T.F. et al. Adv in Health Sci Educ (2012) 17: 633. doi:10.1007/s10459-011-9339-7
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Many faculty in today’s academic medical centers face high levels of stress and low career satisfaction. Understanding faculty vitality is critically important for the health of our academic medical centers, yet the concept is ill-defined and lacking a comprehensive model. Expanding on previous research that examines vital faculty in higher education broadly and in academic medical centers specifically, this study proposes an expanded model of the unique factors that contribute to faculty vitality in academic medicine. We developed an online survey on the basis of a conceptual model (N = 564) and used linear regression to investigate the fit of the model. We examined the relationships of two predictor variables measuring Primary Unit Climate and Leadership and Career and Life Management with an overall Faculty Vitality index comprised of three measures: Professional Engagement, Career Satisfaction, and Productivity. The findings revealed significant predictive relationships between Primary Unit Climate and Leadership, Career and Life Management, and Faculty Vitality. The overall model accounted for 59% of the variance in the overall Faculty Vitality Index. The results provide new insights into the developing model of faculty vitality and inform initiatives to support faculty in academic medical centers. Given the immense challenges faced by faculty, now more than ever do we need reliable evidence regarding what sustains faculty vitality.