In a time of major medical education transformation, emergency medicine (EM) needs to nurture education scholars who will influence EM education practice. However, the essential ingredients to ensure a career with impact in EM education are not clear.
To describe how to prepare EM educators for a high-impact career.
The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Section commissioned an “Education Impact” working group (IWG) to guide the creation of consensus recommendations from the EM community. EM educators from across Canada were initially recruited from the networks of the IWG members, and additional educators were recruited via snowball sampling. “High impact educators” were nominated by this network. The high impact educators were then interviewed using a structured question guide. These interviews were transcribed and coded for themes using qualitative methods. The process continued until no new themes were identified. Proposed themes and recommendations were presented to the EM community at the CAEP 2016 Academic Symposium. Feedback was then incorporated into a final set of recommendations.
Fifty-five (71%) of 77 of identified Canadian EM educators participated, and 170 names of high impact educators were submitted and ranked by frequency. The IWG achieved sufficiency of themes after nine interviews. Five recommendations were made: 1) EM educators can pursue a high impact career by leveraging either traditional or innovative career pathways; 2) EM educators starting their education careers should have multiple senior mentors; 3) Early-career EM educators should immerse themselves in their area of interest and cultivate a community of practice, not limited to EM; 4) Every academic EM department and EM teaching site should have access to an EM educator with protected time and recognition for their EM education scholarship; and 5) Educators at all stages should continuously compile an impact portfolio.
We describe a unique set of recommendations to develop educators who will influence EM, derived from a consensus from the EM community. EM leaders, educators, and aspiring educational scholars should consider how to implement this guide towards enhancing our specialty’s educational mission.