Prevailing academic culture influences healthcare delivery

February 4th, 2009 - 4:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 4 (IANS) Prevailing academic culture in medical institutions is likely to hamper professionalism and general productivity, influencing the delivery of healthcare, experts said.”It became clear that many faculty (members) felt isolated and lacked support in their work… creating an environment that negates the importance of interpersonal relationships between medical practitioners and their patients,” explained co-author Phyllis Carr, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).

The qualitative study was conducted in five US medical schools representing the diverse organisational characteristics of the 126 medical schools in the country.

Participants included research scientists, medical and surgical subspecialists and generalist medical faculty who hold doctorate degrees and represented a wide diversity of subspecialties.

Of the 170 faculty members invited, 96 participated in the study. These individuals were categorised into four different career stages, said a BUSM release.

The career stages were — early career; those who had been faculty members for two to five years; plateaued, those who had not advanced as expected in rank and responsibility and who had been faculty members for 10 or more years; and faculty in leadership roles such as deans, department chairs and centre directors and former faculty who have left academic medicine.

The study found that serious problems exist in the relational culture affecting medical faculty vitality, professionalism, and general productivity, and are linked to retention.

This study appeared in the January issue of Academic Medicine.

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