Faculty Vitality-Surviving the Challenges Facing Academic Health Centers: A National Survey of Medical Faculty.
Acad Med. 2015 Feb 16;
Authors: Pololi LH, Evans AT, Civian JT, Gibbs BK, Coplit LD, Gillum LH, Brennan RT
PURPOSE: Faculty with high vitality are essential to the missions of academic health centers (AHCs). Because little is known about how to measure or enhance faculty vitality, the authors assessed current faculty vitality and identified its predictors.
METHOD: In a stratified random sample of 26 nationally representative U.S. AHCs, the authors surveyed 4,578 full-time faculty during 2007-2009. The validated survey measured detailed faculty perceptions of their professional experiences and organizational culture. Vitality was measured with a previously evaluated five-item scale.
RESULTS: Of the faculty invited, 2,381 (52%) responded, with 2,218 eligible for analysis. Respondents included 512 (23%) underrepresented in medicine minority (URMM) faculty and 1,172 (53%) women. In a multivariable model including individual- and AHC-level factors, the strongest predictors of vitality were faculty members' perceptions of four dimensions of AHC culture: Relationships/inclusion, Values alignment, Work-life integration, and Institutional support (all P < .001). Weaker predictors were faculty age, institution type (public/private), and the AHC's National Institutes of Health funding rank (all P ≤ .03). Half of the respondents scored high on vitality, whereas 25% had low, or suboptimal, scores. Holding perceptions of culture constant, neither female nor URMM faculty had vitality scores that were different on average from male or nonminority faculty.
CONCLUSIONS: A large percentage of faculty lack the vitality essential to meeting the AHC missions of discovery, education, and patient care. Enhancing faculty vitality, and AHC resilience, requires more attention to strengthening relationships, improving the misalignment between faculty and institutional values, and improving work-life integration.
PMID: 25692560 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]