Professional development

In the busy practice of medicine, guiding the medical education and skill development of young clinicians can be a difficult venture without appropriate educational tools and preparation. The efforts of the HEARTland Network professional development program are directed assisting its faculty and residents with experiences that close that preparation gap. Formally, professional development is an organized, goal-directed process to achieve career progression and growth. Additionally, it is an endeavor that should be pursued over the entire span of one’s career and that should be consciously integrated into daily activities. The Network's program is driven to making these objectives attainable by all of its members toward the ultimate goal of developing successful educators.


The purpose of the HEARTland Network OPTI professional development program is to assist all network partners in providing programs and services that constantly enhance the delivery of osteopathic medical education. Since most medical professionals have never received formal training regarding teaching and the delivery of education programs, there are several major advantages to providing professional development programs and services:

  • Preceptors who participate in these programs gain clinical teaching and administrative skills that enhance their ability to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with trainees.
  • Trainees will benefit from having competent faculty and administrators. In terms of teaching, having clinical knowledge and having the skills required to shareknowledge represent two distinct sets of skills required to be effective clinical educators.
  • Combined with the excellent clinical experiences that are found at each of the HEARTland Network OPTI hospital sites, competent clinical faculty represent a key component in attracting exceptional trainees.
  • Patients are primary beneficiaries of faculty development efforts and services since it could be expected that quality teaching and instruction results in a higherlevel of patient care.
  • professional development programs provide a type of accession training for our future medical education leaders.

Provided activities

The professional development activities provided to our partner sites are driven by a formal assessment of need as determined by our clinical faculty and the residents. The general topics generally tend to fall within the various recognized domains of professional development including:

  1. Education, instructional design, curriculum development
  2. Administration, organization, leadership
  3. Research, writing, scholarly development
  4. Clinical teaching
  5. Personal and professional development


Our network faculty and their residents will be able to benefit from experiences in specific topics such as:

  • Effective and efficient teaching in a clinical setting
  • Physician wellness (work-life balance)
  • Teaching and modeling OPP in the clinical education setting
  • Essential precepting skills
  • Providing appropriate clinical feedback to learners
  • Lecture and PowerPoint development
  • Interpersonal skills development
  • Leadership skills development
  • Assessing student learning and clinical competency
  • Meaningful conversation in a clinical education setting
  • Teaching and modeling OPP in the clinical education setting
  • Working with difficult clinical learners
  • Educational research 101
  • Clinical research 101
  • Scholarly writing development
  • Mentorship skill development
  • Cultural competency in the clinical education setting
  • Fostering leadership/collegiality/professionalism
  • Interprofessional education in health care
  • Health literacy patienteducation