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Celebrating a commitment to faculty development

Celebrating a commitment to faculty development

Guest blog by Dr. Richard van Wylick, an Associate Professor in General Pediatrics, and the Director of Faculty Development for the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The Office of Faculty Development has the mission to prepare faculty for their current and future roles through skill development by assisting faculty in attaining the skills relevant to their roles as educators, researchers, administrators and scholars.

Next week we will celebrate the accomplishments of some our faculty who have demonstrated a commitment to faculty development through the Faculty Development Recognition Program; and quite an accomplished group they are!

The program has three levels of achievement and recognizes participation in faculty development locally, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Jane Griffiths, from the Department of Family Medicine, has been awarded Level III this year. Dr. Griffiths attending a total of 130 hours of formal faculty development sessions, presented three workshops at a national venue, published an original article in a peer-reviewed journal on a faculty development topic, and wrote a short self-reflection essay.

Drs. Andrea Winthrop, from the Department of Surgery, and Dr. Mona Sawhey, from the School of Nursing, have been awarded Level II this year. Both attended a total of 80 hours of formal faculty development sessions, presented one workshop at a national or local venue, presented a faculty development research project at a national meeting, and wrote a short self-reflection essay.

Dr. Katrina Gee, of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Dr. Andrea Guerin, of the Department of Pediatrics, have been awarded Level I. They both attended 30 hours of formal faculty development sessions and wrote a self-reflection essay.

The role of an academic health practitioner no doubt encompasses a greater calling than the science and art of health care. The faculty member wears many other hats– teacher, researcher, and leader. An outstanding faculty member embodies these roles throughout the day, and seamlessly changes hats as needed.

Just as we hone our clinical skills and knowledge through continuing education activities, it is just as critical to develop our knowledge, skills and attitudes in the other areas of faculty roles by participating in faculty development. And, just as in our clinical practice matures over time, so does our faculty practice. Our knowledge, skills and attitudes shift over time, also necessitating further support and development.

Sheets and Schwenk (1990) defined faculty development as “any planned activity to improve an individual’s knowledge and skills in areas considered essential to the performance of a faculty member in a department or a residency programme (e.g., teaching skills, administrative skills, research skills, clinical skills).” A more recent paradigm around faculty development recognizes the integral role of the attitudes of practitioners their potential for impact on student learning through the whole experience, from classroom to residency (Dath, 2010).

Our Faculty Development Office strives to do just this. The office is offering a range of programs for faculty members, from new faculty orientation, to the ‘Essentials of Teaching’ series – to regional programs and we are looking to expand. In the coming months, the office will be revealing their 2015-2016 program offerings that involve in a number of creative collaborations and the ability to self-identify faculty learning needs. We are working with postgraduate medical education to offer joint faculty and resident programs, recognizing that our residents are future faculty!

We are excited to hear from our health sciences community on new opportunities so please drop us a line, or even better, drop by our offices at 68 Barrie St. You are always welcome!

Dr. Richard van Wylick


Dean Reznick would like to express his thanks to Dr. Richard van Wylick for his terrific leadership in faculty development and for the creation of this post. 


Sheet, K.J. & Schwenk T. L., (1990). Faculty development for family medicine educators: An agenda for future activities. Teach Learn Med, v.2.

Dath, D. & Iobst, W. (2010). The importance of faculty development in the transition of competency-based medical education. Medical Teaching, v. 32 (8).

Leslie Flynn

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 08:34

I would like to express my sincere congratulations to those faculty members who have been acknowledged in this blog. They demonstrate commitment to the ongoing desire to improve our educational programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s. Our learners benefit from their endeavors. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Richard van Wylick for the leadership he provides to our office of Faculty Development.

Leslie Flynn

Bill Moore Meds ''62

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 08:35

I note that those pictured all are women, which is great and so different from my time at Queen’s when medical classes and Faculty had so few women. Now there are many more women assuming leadership positions because of their dedication to improving medical education and training. Many thanks to both Richards for making this happen!

Bill Moore Meds ''62


Fri, 06/30/2017 - 08:36

Harvard was doing exactly the right thing. He noted that Harvard didn’t have one bilgooy department but six spread across different schools, including SEAS. He viewed that as a great strength in a 21st century of applied bilgooy.Thirty years ago I looked at the exam schedule at Harvard and saw “little” courses like Urdu and Sanskrit. I used to think, “Who studies this stuff?” Fifteen years later I married and learned that some of that “stuff” was at the core of civilization, that Proto-Canaanite and Proto-Sinaitic introduced the concept of an alphabet to human language. 4,000 years later Turing framed central questions in computer science in terms of alphabets and biologists described us with DNA.


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