Background: Our Faculty Development (FD) Program was created to help faculty fulfill professional goals in (and beyond) quality improvement, leadership, education, and clinical skills. Hospital medicine FD may be an effective approach to decrease turnover and improve job retention counter burnout, particularly salient given the unique demands on hospital clinical staff, in a newer specialty with few extant mentorship structures.

Purpose: We describe FD program development, initial implementation, and early evaluation results. Given significant disruption caused by COVID-19, we focus on early program implementation from 2013 to 2019, and offer metrics on retention and intention to remain in our division from 2013 to 2022.

Description: Our FD program is situated within Emory University’s Division of Hospital Medicine (10 metro Atlanta hospitals), serving more than 300 hospitalists. Initially, an Associate Division Director for Faculty Development position was created and funded to focus on academic activity and high faculty turnover. The Director created an FD Steering Committee and performed a needs assessment comprised of focus group sessions and individual interview sessions; early needs identified included mentoring, instruction in basic hospitalist skills (e.g., billing, conflict resolution, efficiency), and improved onboarding. Barriers included limited time, limited knowledge about opportunities, and, for some sites, distance from the University campus. In response, we designed a new mentoring program with a robust mentorship network within the Division; developed proposal-based supplemental FD Awards in addition to division CME funding so faculty could attend conferences for training; and designed a Mini-Academic Hospitalist Academy Lecture Series to improve clinical practice and academic endeavors.Currently, we have an Associate Division Director and Assistant Division Director for Faculty Development (total 0.4 FTE), a program coordinator dedicating 50% effort to the program, and a $75,000 discretionary budget for awards and other initiatives. Preliminary indicators suggest programmatic effectiveness: from 2013 to 2022, faculty retention increased from 73.1% to 93.9%; percentages of faculty reporting they were likely to remain in the Division remained relatively stable, and the proportion of those unlikely to stay declined.For a diverse division of hospitalists in multiple sites, thorough needs assessment to inform programs and next steps was critical, as was ongoing commitment to address challenges identified. Creating and supporting a steering committee to brainstorm innovative problem solving, both proactively and in response to changing context, can amplify effectiveness and relevance of FD efforts. Celebrating “wins” and lauding faculty (and mentors) is necessary but requires creativity and careful observation.

Conclusions: Our FD Program approaches can be scaled to any size program. Financial support from the institution is beneficial for development of infrastructure including funded effort for leadership in FD, administrative effort, and support for specific areas (e.g., scholarship). A value-based argument focused on hospitalist retention and career development may be necessary to garner this support. Ongoing improvement and evolution of programs, with changes based on input and assessment through metrics that were agreed upon by key stakeholders, were important for sustainability of our program.