Using reflections to evaluate the STFM behavioral science/family systems educator fellowship

Deborah A. Taylor, Victoria Gorski, Sandra K. Burge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: A group of family medicine educators identified a need and developed a 1-year fellowship for early career behavioral science educators. This occurred in response to a reduction in previous opportunities and resources. The program was designed to shape and mentor new behavioral science faculty teaching in family medicine departments and programs. Quantitative data analysis from pre- and post-fellowship survey data from years 1-4 confirmed fellowship objectives were met. METHODS: The 1-year fellowship, developed by senior faculty in STFM features a blend of classroom style learning, mentored small-group interactions, reflective writing and a scholarly project requirement. As one aspect of program evaluation, reflective writings submitted by fellows and faculty were analyzed using qualitative methodology for themes related to curricular objectives. RESULTS: From 2010-2013, 44 fellows completed the program. Authors analyzed reflective writings from 15 fellows and 6 small-group mentors. Four overarching themes emerged: emerging professional competence, evolving professional identity, connectedness, and generativity. An unexpected finding was that the fellowship mentors benefited in ways parallel to that of the fellows. CONCLUSIONS: A qualitative analytical approach to examining the reflective writings of fellowship participants yielded confirmation that program goals were achieved. In addition, a commitment to “paying it forward” as ongoing and future leaders in family medicine education resulted for both fellows and faculty mentors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-526
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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