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Panel 5

How should the Educational Abilities of Candidates for Department Chair be Assessed?

Chair: Morito Monden, Director, Cancer Institute Hospital, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan
Vice Chair:      Gerald M. Fried, Chairman, Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Members: Patrick Serruys, Chairman, Department of Interventional Cardiology, ERASMUS University, Rotterdam,
The Netherlands
Anna Wang, President, Swiss Medical Student Association, Zurich, Switzerland

Department Chairs occupy important leadership positions in universities. Since teaching and learning are critical pillars of educational institutions, it is crucial that the educational attributes of applicants for these leadership positions be appropriately evaluated during the selection process. To define a process to assess these educational abilities, a series of structured interviews of teachers and learners was conducted, followed by a web-based survey, and then a second series of interviews with selected experts in medical education.

The commitment of the candidate to teaching and learning should be considered strongly in the selection process. The candidate should prepare an educational dossier including a summary of teaching activity, effectiveness, scholarship and recognition of excellence. This should be supplemented by narratives describing the educational philosophy and perception of the changes that he or she would put in place to meet the learning preferences of the current generation of students. The leader should be able to describe concepts about formative and summative assessment. He or she should also have a plan for faculty development to ensure that the educational needs of the department or faculty could be met optimally. An educational advisory committee should be formed at the faculty level whose role would be to assess the educational qualifications of candidates all Department Chairs. With this mechanism, education abilities could be evaluated consistently and given the required importance in the selection process.

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