The shift of clinical care and teaching to outpatient settings has challenged ambulatory and community-based teachers. To address this challenge, U.S. internal medicine organizations devised "Faculty Development for General Internal Medicine: Generalist Faculty Teaching in Ambulatory Settings," a national program to train leaders to create local faculty development projects. In 1999, teams from all 386 internal medicine training institutions were invited to apply. Participation required an acceptable plan for a local project and inclusion of an institutional leader, residency or clerkship director, and a community-based faculty member on the project team. Team members attended one of three national training conferences held in 1999 and 2000 that included plenary sessions, workshops, and team meetings. Participants were invited to a wrap-up conference to present their accomplishments.One hundred ten teams from 57 university and 53 nonuniversity hospitals attended the training conferences; 412 (93%) participants returned conference evaluations. All sessions were rated highly. Participants preferred workshops and team meetings to plenary sessions. Two hundred thirty-five (57%) would have recommended the training conference to colleagues as an outstanding experience; 148 (36%) as a good experience; and 25 (6%) as a satisfactory experience. Forty-nine teams (122 participants) returned for the wrap up conference where 35 teams presented their local faculty development projects. Cost per team trained was US$11,818.This program demonstrated a national desire for training in teaching skills, reached a broad audience of ambulatory-based clinical teachers, provided highly rated faculty development conferences in teaching skills, and facilitated development of a variety of local projects at modest expense. Partnerships were forged between academic leaders and community-based teachers.
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