Procedural Competence among Faculty in Academic Health Centers: Challenges and Future Directions

Alon Vaisman, Peter Cram

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Increasingly, faculty are taking on more direct responsibilities in patient care because of reductions in resident work hours, increasing admissions, and an endless push for efficiency. Furthermore, the rise of different career tracks in academia (i.e., patient care, research, education, or administration) and a drive for efficiency and subspecialization have placed additional strains on academic health centers. Combined, these factors have led to faculty increasingly being placed in the position of supervising bedside procedures that they may have not performed in years or with tools they have never trained with at all. Despite these challenges, procedural retraining for faculty remains nonstandardized across most academic health centers. The resulting lack of procedural competence among faculty creates a number of challenges for the different parties involved. In this Perspective, the authors discuss the nature of the current problem of faculty procedural competence and the challenges it poses for faculty and academic health centers, medicolegal ramifications, and the challenges it poses to the faculty-trainee relationship. The authors then suggest several strategies to delineate and resolve this problem. To delineate the problem, they suggest single-center surveys to address the current paucity of data. To resolve the problem, they suggest the consideration of some modest, low-cost interventions such as having backup systems in place for procedure supervision (e.g., procedural service teams or interventional radiologists) and providing faculty with opportunities to retrain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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