Perspect Med Educ 2019 Jun;8(3):191-196
Duke-NUS Medical School, Academic Medicine Education Institute, Singapore, Singapore.
Faculty development programs have tended to focus on low levels of evaluation such as participant satisfaction rather than assess the actual changes that training has brought about in the workplace. This has prompted scholars to suggest using social network analysis as a means to provide a more rigorous method of evaluating the impact of faculty development. To test the feasibility of such a suggestion, we used the social network analysis concepts of social cohesion to assess the impact of a year-long fellowship program conducted by Duke-NUS Medical School's Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM·EI). Specifically, we used the key metrics of connectedness and betweenness centrality to assess the changes in the AM·EI fellows' information and collaboration networks post-fellowship. We invited three cohorts of AM·EI fellows (2013-2016; n = 74) to participate in a branched survey. The response rate was 64%; n = 47. Results showed that in terms of connectedness, the largest connected set more than doubled in size, and pair level reachability grew threefold. Betweenness centrality among the AM·EI fellows also increased, with more individuals reporting that they sought advice from the fellows as well as trusted the advice the fellows provided. In sum, this study suggests that it is indeed viable to use social network analysis to identify changes in social cohesion. As such, social network analysis serves as another tool for scholars to use to assess the impact of their faculty development efforts.