The learning community faculty experience: how longitudinal relationships with learners enhance work meaning

Danielle Roussel
James M. Wagner
Jorie M. Colbert-Getz
Maya G. Sardesai
Michelle Bardack
Paul R. Gordon
Soort article
Original Research
Clinical education,
Job engagement,
Learning communities,
Work meaning,
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Introduction Work meaning has gained attention as an important contributor to physician job engagement and well-being but little is known about how faculty participation in medical school learning communities might influence this phenomena. Our study goals were to determine how physician faculty members may derive meaning from serving as mentors for longitudinal learning communities of medical students, to understand how that meaning may impact other areas of their work, and relate our findings to existing literature and theoretical frameworks.

Methods The research team conducted, recorded, transcribed, and coded 25 semi-structured telephone interviews of faculty mentors from four US medical schools with curricular learning communities. The team used an iterative interview coding process to generate final themes and relate these themes to existing literature.

Results The authors identified five themes of meaning faculty derive from participation as learning community mentors: “I am a better professional,” “I am more connected,” “I am rejuvenated,” “I am contributing,” and “I am honored.” A sixth theme, “I am harmed,” encompassed the negative aspects of the learning community faculty experience. The authors found that their identified themes related closely to the theoretical framework for pathways to meaningful work proposed by Rosso et al.

Discussion The alignment of the themes we identified on the experience of learning community faculty to existing literature on work meaning corroborates the theoretical framework and deepens understanding of beneficial and harmful learning community effects on faculty.


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