Free
JAOA/AACOM Medical Education  |   May 2018
Faculty Vitality in Osteopathic Medical Schools: A Pilot Study
Author Notes
  • From the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Dr Ables), and Blacksburg, Virginia (Dr Shan), and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine (Dr Broyles). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Adrienne Z. Ables, PharmD, MS, 350 Howard St, Spartanburg, SC 29303-3515. Email: aables@carolinas.vcom.edu
     
Article Information
Medical Education
JAOA/AACOM Medical Education   |   May 2018
Faculty Vitality in Osteopathic Medical Schools: A Pilot Study
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2018, Vol. 118, 321-330. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.063
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2018, Vol. 118, 321-330. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.063
Abstract

Context: Faculty vitality is defined as the synergy between high levels of satisfaction, productivity, and engagement that enables faculty members to maximize their professional success and achieve goals in concert with institutional goals. Many studies have examined faculty development efforts with regard to satisfaction, retention, or vitality, but, to the authors’ knowledge, they have all been conducted in allopathic medical schools and academic health centers.

Objective: To examine faculty vitality in osteopathic medical schools and address contributors to productivity, engagement, and career satisfaction.

Methods: This multi-institutional exploratory survey-based study included faculty members from 4 osteopathic medical schools. Surveys with items related to productivity, engagement, career satisfaction, primary department climate and leadership, professional development, and career and life management were sent to faculty members at the 4 participating schools. Most item responses were ranked on Likert-type scales, ranging from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Open-ended questions that explored the participants’ experience at their college, factors outside the institution that may affect vitality, and perceived faculty development needs were included at the end of the survey. The overall vitality index was calculated by taking the average of the 3 vitality indicator scores (ie, productivity, engagement, and career satisfaction).

Results: Of 236 potential participants, 105 returned the survey for analysis. The mean overall faculty vitality index was 3.2 (range, 1-5). Regarding the 3 contributors to faculty vitality, the mean productivity score was 2.3; professional engagement, 3.5; and career satisfaction, 3.7. Primary department climate and leadership was a significant predictor of faculty vitality (P=.001). The influence of individual vitality factors did not differ between basic science and clinical faculty members. Open-ended questions generated the following themes related to faculty vitality: leadership support, organizational climate, collegiality and value, workload, research funding climate, and family/home life. Participants listed a variety of faculty development needs in the areas of teaching, research, leadership, and professional development.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that career satisfaction is a significant contributor to vitality in osteopathic medical school faculty members. Additionally, primary department climate and leadership is a significant predictor of faculty vitality. Responses to the open-ended questions further elucidated extrinsic factors that positively and negatively affect vitality, including family and home life and dwindling funding from national medical research agencies. Faculty development efforts should be directed toward enhancing contributors to vitality.

Faculty development in medical education began in the 1950s1 and has continued to be a significant component of the professional development of medical educators. The goals of faculty development programs include improving teaching, research, and administrative skills; preparing for career advancement; and meeting the needs of an organization.2 Further, these programs should promote not only the professional development of academic staff, but also their personal development. Gruppen et al3 identified 3 primary driving forces of faculty development: public accountability, the changing nature of health care delivery, and the need to sustain academic vitality. Faculty vitality has been defined as “those essential, yet intangible positive qualities of individuals and institutions that enable purposeful production.”4 In 2002, Bland et al5 defined faculty and institutional vitality as “efforts designed to facilitate faculty members’ commitment to and ability to achieve both their own goals and their institution's goals.” In 2009, Dankoski et al6 asserted that vitality is “the synergy between high levels of satisfaction, productivity, and engagement that enables the faculty member to maximize her/his professional success and achieve goals in concert with institutional goals; and that faculty vitality is predicted by individual factors, organizational support, and leadership.” 
Vital faculty members are highly active and productive in teaching, scholarship, administrative tasks, and professional services.7 Not only do they exhibit high levels of satisfaction, but they also contribute positively to an institution's mission. In contrast, emotional exhaustion and burnout lead to decreased effectiveness and satisfaction among faculty,8,9 which highlights the importance of creating an environment conducive to enhancing faculty vitality. 
Robust faculty development programs are associated with high retention and promotion rates, greater number of grants and publications, and participation in leadership activities.10-12 Faculty development initiatives significantly improve a number of factors that influence vitality, including having a mentor and academic career plan, a shared department vision, faculty development opportunities, and feeling valued for one's contributions.13 Junior faculty who participate in structured faculty development programs are more likely to remain at their medical school and to engage in leadership and professional activities than nonparticipants.12 
Although many studies regarding faculty satisfaction, retention, and vitality have been published, to our knowledge, they have all been conducted in allopathic medical schools and academic health centers (AHCs).5,13,15-18 A survey-based study18 of 2218 faculty members at 26 AHCs across the United States indicated that the strongest predictors of vitality were faculty members’ perceptions of the culture of the AHC with respect to relationships and inclusion, values alignment, work-life balance, and institutional support. Faculty at private medical schools and institutions with more funding from the National Institutes of Health had higher vitality scores.18 
It is possible that predictors of vitality and, therefore, faculty development needs, differ in osteopathic medical schools that are often private, located in smaller cities, and use community hospitals rather than large academic hospitals for student clerkships. In these schools, the needs of faculty members may focus on teaching skills and service projects more than research. In most of the studies regarding allopathic institutions, the majority of participants were clinical faculty.5,15-18 Clinical faculty members tend to spend more 1-on-1 time with students and less time conducting research than basic science faculty members, which means their needs may not represent the faculty as a whole. In addition, the majority of participants in studies of allopathic institutions self-identified as male and, therefore, may not adequately represent female faculty members.5,15-18 Also, personal factors contributing to vitality, such as intrinsic reward and motivation, location of the school or AHC, outside relationships, and community involvement, were unaccounted for in these studies. 
A model of faculty vitality developed by Dankoski et al14 proposed that vitality is an index of 3 measures: productivity, professional engagement, and career satisfaction. They also asserted that primary department climate and leadership and career-life management significantly predict vitality. The purpose of the current study was to explore faculty vitality in osteopathic medical schools by examining contributors to productivity, engagement, and satisfaction. 
Methods
This multi-institutional survey-based study was designated as exempt by the University of New England Institutional Review Board. 
Participants
In January 2017, faculty members from a convenience sample of osteopathic medical schools in the United States were invited to participate in the study. Approval to take part in the study was obtained from the dean of each school, as well as their institutional review board. Of the 10 potential osteopathic medical schools, 4 agreed to participate. Three of the 4 participating institutions were privately owned. Basic science or clinical faculty members who were full- or part-time employees were eligible to participate in the study. Community preceptors were excluded from the study. The survey was created using SurveyMonkey, and a link to the survey was included in an email invitation to participate. One school provided an email list for the dissemination of the invitation directly to faculty members; for the other 3 schools, the deans sent the invitation to faculty members. The invitation included the purpose of the research and consent for participation. 
Survey
The survey was adapted with permission from the Indiana University School of Medicine's Faculty Vitality Survey, published in 2014. This survey was previously validated and designed to measure faculty vitality. The survey contained 66 items, broken down into the following sections: productivity (11 items), engagement (6 items), career satisfaction (5 items), primary department climate and leadership (12 items), career and life management (11 items), professional development (6 items), demographic information (10 items), and self-identified primary role (1 item). Most survey items were ranked on 5-point Likert-type scales (1, low; 5, high). Four open-ended questions were included at the end of the survey that explored participants’ experience at their college, factors outside the institution that may have affected vitality, and perceived faculty development needs. The survey was pilot-tested by 10 faculty members not included in the study sample to ensure clarity of the questions. 
Demographic information included gender, race/ethnicity, employment status (full-time or part-time), faculty rank, faculty track (basic science or clinical), osteopathic medical school, number of years as faculty at the school, and faculty rank. No personal identifiers were collected in the survey items to keep the answers anonymous. Additionally, the software used for data collection did not capture IP addresses. The participants’ osteopathic medical school was documented for the purpose of tracking participation; however, no comparisons were made between schools. 
Statistical Analysis
Data gathered via SurveyMonkey were exported to SPSS software (IBM) for analysis. Demographic items were reported in aggregate using descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics were used to elucidate the frequency of responses to the factors that affect faculty vitality. The vitality indicator scores were calculated by taking the average of the measurements belonging to that specific category. The overall vitality index was calculated by taking the average of the 3 vitality indicator scores (productivity, professional engagement, and career satisfaction). To explore the relationship between overall vitality and gender, ethnicity/race, faculty rank, faculty track, employment status, and department, side-by-side boxplots were drawn, and an analysis of variance was conducted to determine whether differences were found in the mean overall vitality index and the 3 vitality indicators in terms of the previously mentioned factors. The effect of primary department climate and leadership and career and life management on vitality and its 3 indicators were then examined using linear regression by controlling for the factors mentioned above. Assumptions for analysis of variance and regression analysis were met. Statistical significance was defined as P<.05. 
The responses to the open-ended questions were analyzed using a qualitative approach, in which coding of responses generated several themes for each question that had structural corroboration and referential adequacy. Each investigator (A.Z.A, L.S., and I.L.B.) read and analyzed the literature on vitality prior to coding. A.Z.A and I.L.B. did the original coding individually, and L.S. was consulted if a discrepancy was noted. Using qualitative reflection during coding and subsequent group analysis brought to mind possible links and relationships that identified implications for changing faculty environments and enhancing faculty development opportunities. Codes were generated, and broader themes were identified. 
Results
Of 236 eligible faculty members, 105 returned the survey (45% response rate). Of the 99 participants who provided demographic information, 56 (57%) identified themselves as female, 38 (38%) as male, and 5 (5%) preferred not to respond. The majority of participants were employed on a full-time basis (85%) in an academic faculty track (96%). Thirty-nine of 99 participants had a DO degree, 8 had an MD degree, 47 had a PhD, 14 had an MA or MS, 2 had an MPH, and 5 indicated “other.” Demographic characteristics of the study population are shown in Table 1. 
Table 1.
Demographic Characteristics of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study (n=99)a
Characteristics No. (%)
Gender
 Female 56 (56.6)
 Male 38 (38.4)
 Prefer not to respond 5 (5.1)
Race/Ethnicity
 American Indian or Alaskan Native 1 (1.0)
 Asian 2 (2.0)
 Black 1 (1.0)
 Hispanic or Latino 1 (1.0)
 Multiracial 3 (3.0)
 White 80 (80.8)
 Prefer not to respond 11 (11.1)
Department
 Basic sciences/biomedical affairs 47 (47.5)
 Clinical affairs 49 (49.5)
 Other 3 (3.0)
Employment Status
 Full time (≥32 h/wk) 84 (84.8)
 Part time (<32 h/wk) 15 (15.2)
Faculty Rank
 Instructor 5 (5.1)
 Assistant professor 42 (42.4)
 Associate professor 29 (29.3)
 Professor 23 (23.2)
Faculty Track
 Academic 95 (96.0)
 Research 3 (3.0)
 Other 1 (1.0)
No. of Years as Faculty at Current Institution
 0-5 50 (50.5)
 6-10 16 (16.2)
 11-15 11 (11.1)
 16-20 14 (14.1)
 >20 8 (8.1)

a Of 105 participants, 99 (94.3%) provided responses to demographic questions.

Table 1.
Demographic Characteristics of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study (n=99)a
Characteristics No. (%)
Gender
 Female 56 (56.6)
 Male 38 (38.4)
 Prefer not to respond 5 (5.1)
Race/Ethnicity
 American Indian or Alaskan Native 1 (1.0)
 Asian 2 (2.0)
 Black 1 (1.0)
 Hispanic or Latino 1 (1.0)
 Multiracial 3 (3.0)
 White 80 (80.8)
 Prefer not to respond 11 (11.1)
Department
 Basic sciences/biomedical affairs 47 (47.5)
 Clinical affairs 49 (49.5)
 Other 3 (3.0)
Employment Status
 Full time (≥32 h/wk) 84 (84.8)
 Part time (<32 h/wk) 15 (15.2)
Faculty Rank
 Instructor 5 (5.1)
 Assistant professor 42 (42.4)
 Associate professor 29 (29.3)
 Professor 23 (23.2)
Faculty Track
 Academic 95 (96.0)
 Research 3 (3.0)
 Other 1 (1.0)
No. of Years as Faculty at Current Institution
 0-5 50 (50.5)
 6-10 16 (16.2)
 11-15 11 (11.1)
 16-20 14 (14.1)
 >20 8 (8.1)

a Of 105 participants, 99 (94.3%) provided responses to demographic questions.

×
The mean overall faculty vitality index was 3.2, and the mean scores for the 3 contributors to faculty vitality were as follows: productivity, 2.3; professional engagement, 3.5; and career satisfaction, 3.7. These scores were ranked on 5-point Likert-type scales, ranging from 1 to 5. The mean response score to the item, “overall, how satisfied are you with your career?” was 4.2 out of 5, with 5 being the highest level of satisfaction. No significant difference was found in the mean overall vitality index between men and women (F2,96=2.09, P=.13) or between ethnic/racial groups (F5,93=1.94, P=.10). In addition, overall vitality scores did not differ between basic science and clinical faculty members (F2,96=0.61, P=.54). Instructors and full professors indicated greater overall career satisfaction than did assistant and associate professors (F3,95=3.03, P=.03) (Figure 1). The relationship between various participant characteristics and vitality derived from analysis of variance are shown in Table 2. 
Figure 1.
The relationship between career satisfaction and faculty rank in osteopathic medical school faculty members. The circles indicate mild outliers and the asterisk indicates an extreme outlier.
Figure 1.
The relationship between career satisfaction and faculty rank in osteopathic medical school faculty members. The circles indicate mild outliers and the asterisk indicates an extreme outlier.
Table 2.
Relationship Between Overall Vitality and the 3 Indicators of Vitality and Various Participant Characteristics
  df  
Characteristic F Numerator Denominator P Value
Overall Vitality
 Gender 2.09 2 96 .13
 Race/ethnicity 1.94 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 2.10 3 95 .11
 Faculty track 0.21 2 96 .81
 Employment status 0.54 1 97 .47
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
Professional Engagement
 Gender 2.25 2 96 .11
 Race/ethnicity 1.89 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 1.67 3 95 .18
 Faculty track 0.84 2 96 .43
 Employment status 0.85 1 97 .36
 Department 2.45 2 96 .09
Productivity
 Gender 0.44 2 96 .65
 Race/ethnicity 0.57 5 93 .72
 Faculty rank 1.83 3 95 .15
 Faculty track 0.52 2 96 .59
 Employment status 1.10 1 97 .30
 Department 0.06 2 96 .94
Career Satisfaction
 Gender 2.15 2 96 .12
 Race/ethnicity 1.07 5 93 .38
 Faculty rank 3.03 3 95 .03
 Faculty track 0.24 2 96 .79
 Employment status 0.14 1 97 .71
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
Table 2.
Relationship Between Overall Vitality and the 3 Indicators of Vitality and Various Participant Characteristics
  df  
Characteristic F Numerator Denominator P Value
Overall Vitality
 Gender 2.09 2 96 .13
 Race/ethnicity 1.94 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 2.10 3 95 .11
 Faculty track 0.21 2 96 .81
 Employment status 0.54 1 97 .47
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
Professional Engagement
 Gender 2.25 2 96 .11
 Race/ethnicity 1.89 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 1.67 3 95 .18
 Faculty track 0.84 2 96 .43
 Employment status 0.85 1 97 .36
 Department 2.45 2 96 .09
Productivity
 Gender 0.44 2 96 .65
 Race/ethnicity 0.57 5 93 .72
 Faculty rank 1.83 3 95 .15
 Faculty track 0.52 2 96 .59
 Employment status 1.10 1 97 .30
 Department 0.06 2 96 .94
Career Satisfaction
 Gender 2.15 2 96 .12
 Race/ethnicity 1.07 5 93 .38
 Faculty rank 3.03 3 95 .03
 Faculty track 0.24 2 96 .79
 Employment status 0.14 1 97 .71
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
×
Regression analysis showed that primary department climate and leadership was a significantly positive predictor of overall faculty vitality (P=.001). Career and life management had a positive relationship with overall faculty vitality, but the correlation was not statistically significant (P=.055). When the contributors to vitality were analyzed separately, only career satisfaction was shown to have a significant positive relationship with primary department climate and leadership (P<.0001). There was also a positive relationship between career satisfaction and career and life management, but it was not statistically significant (P=.074). The majority of faculty strongly or somewhat agreed that opportunities for faculty development were offered by their institutions. Information regarding the number of professional activities that participants attended on specific topics is shown in Table 3. 
Table 3.
Topic Areas of Professional Development Activities Attended by Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members
Topic Areas
No. of Times Attended Promotion and Tenure (n=104) Teaching and Learning (n=105) Research (n=105) Leadership (n=104) Diversity and Inclusion (n=105) Career Management (n=105)
0 65 (62.5) 0 33 (31.4) 45 (43.3) 28 (26.7) 52 (49.5)
1-3 32 (30.8) 50 (47.6) 51 (48.6) 39 (37.5) 56 (53.3) 45 (42.9)
4-6 4 (3.8) 21 (20) 14 (13.3) 11 (10.6) 15 (14.3) 5 (4.8)
7-9 0 10 (9.5) 3 (2.9) 4 (3.8) 4 (3.8) 2 (1.9)
>10 3 (2.9) 24 (22.9) 4 (3.8) 5 (4.8) 2 (1.9) 1 (0.9)
Table 3.
Topic Areas of Professional Development Activities Attended by Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members
Topic Areas
No. of Times Attended Promotion and Tenure (n=104) Teaching and Learning (n=105) Research (n=105) Leadership (n=104) Diversity and Inclusion (n=105) Career Management (n=105)
0 65 (62.5) 0 33 (31.4) 45 (43.3) 28 (26.7) 52 (49.5)
1-3 32 (30.8) 50 (47.6) 51 (48.6) 39 (37.5) 56 (53.3) 45 (42.9)
4-6 4 (3.8) 21 (20) 14 (13.3) 11 (10.6) 15 (14.3) 5 (4.8)
7-9 0 10 (9.5) 3 (2.9) 4 (3.8) 4 (3.8) 2 (1.9)
>10 3 (2.9) 24 (22.9) 4 (3.8) 5 (4.8) 2 (1.9) 1 (0.9)
×
Qualitative Analysis
Of the 105 participants, 56 described how their experience at their school affected their vitality, and 50 identified factors outside the institution that they felt affected their vitality as a faculty member. Regarding the effect that their school had on faculty vitality, participants described the positive and negative influences of leadership support, organizational climate, and collegiality. Some participants expressed that they had the autonomy to direct their teaching in a way that provided a good educational experience for students and that their departments were cohesive and collaborative, thereby maintaining their engagement. Others indicated dissatisfaction because of a lack of administrative support, siphoning of resources, and feeling undervalued (eg, “My clinical responsibilities are not considered part of my ‘faculty work effort,’ but are a big part of my role. Therefore, I feel very undervalued.”). 
The majority of comments regarding workload were negative (eg, “My college expects too much out of our department. The department size hasn't kept up with the increase in expected duties.”). Clinical faculty members were frustrated regarding lack of time to accomplish their responsibilities. The idea of doing more work with less resources was a common refrain, and participants felt that increases in lecture hours, programs, service, and research expectations limited productivity (eg, “Personally, I do not feel engaged because there is too much work to do. There are so many deadlines, meetings…. I feel like a mouse on a wheel. Anything that requires time to think and work through is done on my own time—nights and weekends.”). 
Several participants expressed external challenges regarding the current climate for research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. One participant wrote, “I am worried about the future of grant funding in this country and the views on the usefulness of science.” Another external influence on vitality was participants’ personal life. Family and home life could be viewed either as a positive contributor to vitality or as a challenge. Outside interests such as exercise, yoga, church activities, and educational opportunities were listed as positively influencing participants’ work life. However, balancing family, outside interests, and workload was reportedly challenging for some. A long commute to work was mentioned several times as negatively affecting vitality. Single parenting, personal health issues, and caring for aging parents were also documented as factors that negatively affected vitality. 
To further elucidate the needs of faculty members, participants were asked to list 1 to 2 faculty development activities they would like to take part in within the next 2 years. Topics related to teaching, research, leadership skills, and professional development were listed (Table 4). Participants also wanted faculty development activities related to student burnout and wellness. 
Table 4.
Desired Faculty Development Activities of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study
Teaching Skills Research Skills Leadership Skills Professional Development
■ Case development
■ Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA format and item writing
■ Curriculum coordination and mapping
■ Facilitating team-based learning
■ Innovations in teaching large groups and content delivery
■ Virtual teaching
■ Getting started with research
■ How to publish one's work
■ Library skills
■ Statistical training
■ Writing grant proposals
■ Budgeting and strategic planning
■ Conflict resolution
■ Managing people
■ Mentoring
■ Women in leadership
■ Appropriate communication with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students
■ Contract negotiation
■ Personal growth and wellness
■ Portfolio creation and management
■ Social media
■ Transitioning from faculty to administration
■ Working with millennial students and colleagues
Table 4.
Desired Faculty Development Activities of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study
Teaching Skills Research Skills Leadership Skills Professional Development
■ Case development
■ Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA format and item writing
■ Curriculum coordination and mapping
■ Facilitating team-based learning
■ Innovations in teaching large groups and content delivery
■ Virtual teaching
■ Getting started with research
■ How to publish one's work
■ Library skills
■ Statistical training
■ Writing grant proposals
■ Budgeting and strategic planning
■ Conflict resolution
■ Managing people
■ Mentoring
■ Women in leadership
■ Appropriate communication with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students
■ Contract negotiation
■ Personal growth and wellness
■ Portfolio creation and management
■ Social media
■ Transitioning from faculty to administration
■ Working with millennial students and colleagues
×
Discussion
Osteopathic medical schools are often private institutions affiliated with community hospitals, and osteopathic clerkships are distributed throughout the region. The allopathic medical schools surveyed in several previous studies regarding faculty vitality were located in large AHCs with a larger number of faculty members per institution than osteopathic medical schools.5,8,12,15-18 The majority of participants in these allopathic faculty vitality studies were clinicians and self-identified as male. The percentage of participants in the current study who self-identified as basic science faculty was similar to the percentage of clinical faculty, and more than half of the participants were women. However, the results of the survey indicated that gender and faculty track (clinical or basic science) did not affect overall vitality. These findings are similar to the findings of Dankoski et al14 in their survey of 564 medical school faculty members at the Indiana University School of Medicine. 
Full professors reported a significantly higher level of career satisfaction compared with assistant and associate professors, which is not surprising given their stage of academic development. After progressing through the academic ranks, senior faculty members typically reside in a period of maturation; they are recognized as leaders in teaching, research, clinical practice, or administration.20 They also share their abilities and expertise with junior faculty and are rewarded for their accomplishments.20 
In the current study, primary department climate and leadership significantly influenced overall vitality, and career and life management had a small influence. The study by Dankoski et al14 showed significant predictive relationships between primary department climate and leadership, career and life management, and faculty vitality. A larger study sample than that in the current study may have shown comparable results. 
Responses to open-ended questions indicated that participants’ workload was not commensurate with the time needed to accomplish their responsibilities, thus limiting their productivity. On the other hand, both quantitative and qualitative data supported the importance of primary department climate and leadership as a predictor of vitality. Previous studies10-12 showed that strong faculty development programs were associated with high retention and promotion rates, higher rates of grants and publications, and greater number of leadership activities. The results of the current study can help identify opportunities for faculty development. 
Based on our findings, faculty development efforts in osteopathic medical schools should be directed toward improving professional engagement and productivity. Approaches to increase engagement may include opportunities to serve as a mentor, participate in professional organizations, and collaborate with colleagues in teaching, research, or service activities. Development of a shared vision in the department may also increase engagement. Productivity can potentially be increased by offering time management courses and individual academic career plan counseling, as well as encouraging faculty members to collaborate in group projects. Faculty members identified the need for teaching and research skill development but were also interested in developing their leadership skills and being offered professional development opportunities. Wellness programs designed to promote health in body, mind, and spirit should be offered to all faculty and staff members. 
With regard to the effect of primary department climate and leadership on overall vitality, faculty development sessions designed to help align faculty and institutional priorities may help to increase vitality16 by creating a vision and a set of values with senior administrators. Mechanisms for senior administrators to acknowledge faculty members’ achievements should be put into place to increase faculty members’ sense of value and contribution to the mission of the school. Career and life management workshops might include information on how to balance personal and professional demands, deal with change, and set appropriate boundaries. 
The current study was limited by the small number of institutions that participated. Likewise, a small number of faculty members participated. A nationwide survey should be conducted to draw firm conclusions regarding the contributors to faculty vitality in osteopathic medical schools and encompass a sample that is representative of all osteopathic schools. Mandatory survey questions should be used to increase the completeness of the data gathered. Another way to assess vitality and contributors to vitality is to conduct 1-on-1 structured interviews with faculty members. An exploration of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for faculty members would also be interesting to investigate. Regarding the exploration of faculty development needs as they relate to vitality, the next iteration of the survey may include questions regarding preferences of faculty development events, such as local workshops, national and international conferences, online courses, webinars, university-level vs college-level sessions, and mentoring. 
Conclusion
This is the first study, to our knowledge, that examines faculty vitality in osteopathic medical schools. The results of this study suggest that career satisfaction is a significant contributor to vitality in osteopathic medical school faculty members. Basic science and clinical faculty members reported similar levels of overall vitality. Additionally, primary department climate and leadership was a significant predictor of faculty vitality. The open-ended questions further elucidated extrinsic factors that affected vitality, including family and home life and dwindling funding from national medical research agencies. Faculty development efforts should be directed toward enhancing contributors to vitality. 
References
O'Sullivan PS, Irby DM. Reframing research on faculty development. Acad Med. 2011;86(4):421-428. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31820dc058 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
McLean M, Cilliers F, Van Wyk, JM. Faculty development: yesterday, today and tomorrow. Med Teach. 2008;30(6):555-584. doi: 10.1080/01421590802109834 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Gruppen LD, Simpson D, Searle NS, Robins L, Irby DM, Mullan PB. Educational fellowship programs: common themes and overarching issues. Acad Med. 2006;81(11):990-994. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Clark SM, Lewis DRE. Faculty Vitality and Institutional Productivity: Critical Perspectives for Higher Education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press; 1985.
Bland CJ, Seaquist E, Pacala JT, Center BA, Finstad D. One school's strategy to assess and improve the vitality of its faculty. Acad Med. 2002;77(5):368-376. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Dankoski ME, Palmer MM, Smith JS, et al. Redefining faculty vitality: synergy between satisfaction, productivity, and engagement. Paper presented at: 2009 Group on Faculty Affairs Annual Conference; August 2009; San Francisco, CA.
Clark SM, Corcoran M, Lewis DR. The case for an institutional perspective on faculty development. J Higher Educ. 1986;57(2):176-195. doi: 10.2307/1981480 [CrossRef]
Schindler BA, Novack DH, Cohen DG, et al The impact of the changing healthcare environment on the health and well-being of faculty at four medial schools. Acad Med. 2006;81(1):27-34. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lowenstein SR, Fernandez G, Crane LA. Medical school faculty discontent: prevalence and predictors of intent to leave academic careers. BMC Med Educ. 2007;7:37. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Morzinski JA, Simpson DE. Outcome of a comprehensive faculty development program for local, full-time faculty. Fam Med. 2003;35(6):434-439. [PubMed]
Pololi LH, Knight SM, Dennis K, Frankel RM. Helping medical school faculty realize their dreams: an innovative, collaborative mentoring program. Acad Med. 2002;77(5):377-384. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ries A, Wingard D, Gamst A, Larsen C, Farrell E, Reznik V. Measuring faculty retention and success in academic medicine. Acad Med. 2012;87(8):1046-1051. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31825d0d31 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Palmer MM, Dankoski ME, Smith JS, Brutkiewicz RR, Bogdewic SP. Exploring changes in culture and vitality: the outcomes of faculty development. J Faculty Dev. 2011;25(1):21-27.
Dankoski ME, Palmer MM, Laird TFN, Ribera AK, Bogdewic SP. An expanded model of faculty vitality in academic medicine. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2012;17(5):633-649. doi: 10.1007 /s10459-011-9339-7 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Bunton SA, Corrice AM, Pollart SM, et al Predictors of workplace satisfaction for U.S. medical school faculty in an era of change and challenge. Acad Med. 2012;87(5):574-581. doi: 10.1097 /ACM.0b013e31824d2b37 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Pololi LH, Dennis K, Winn GM, Mitchell J. A needs assessment of medical school faculty: caring for the caretakers. J Cont Educ Health Prof. 2003;23(1):21-29. doi: 10.1002/chp.1340230105 [CrossRef]
Pololi LH, Krupat E, Civian JT, Ash AS, Brennan RT. Why are a quarter of faculty considering leaving academic medicine? a study of their perceptions of institutional culture and intentions to leave at 26 representative U.S. medical schools. Acad Med. 2012;87(7):859-869. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182582b18 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Pololi LH, Evans AT, Civian JT, et al Faculty vitality—surviving the challenges facing academic health centers: a national survey of medical faculty. Acad Med. 2015;90(7):930-936. doi: 10.1097 /ACM.0000000000000674 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Clearfield, MB, Smith-Barbaro P, Guillory VJ, et al Research funding at colleges of osteopathic medicine: 15 years of growth. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107(11):469-478. [PubMed]
Knopke HJ, Anderson RL. Academic development in family practice. J Fam Pract. 1981;12(3):493-499. [PubMed]
Figure 1.
The relationship between career satisfaction and faculty rank in osteopathic medical school faculty members. The circles indicate mild outliers and the asterisk indicates an extreme outlier.
Figure 1.
The relationship between career satisfaction and faculty rank in osteopathic medical school faculty members. The circles indicate mild outliers and the asterisk indicates an extreme outlier.
Table 1.
Demographic Characteristics of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study (n=99)a
Characteristics No. (%)
Gender
 Female 56 (56.6)
 Male 38 (38.4)
 Prefer not to respond 5 (5.1)
Race/Ethnicity
 American Indian or Alaskan Native 1 (1.0)
 Asian 2 (2.0)
 Black 1 (1.0)
 Hispanic or Latino 1 (1.0)
 Multiracial 3 (3.0)
 White 80 (80.8)
 Prefer not to respond 11 (11.1)
Department
 Basic sciences/biomedical affairs 47 (47.5)
 Clinical affairs 49 (49.5)
 Other 3 (3.0)
Employment Status
 Full time (≥32 h/wk) 84 (84.8)
 Part time (<32 h/wk) 15 (15.2)
Faculty Rank
 Instructor 5 (5.1)
 Assistant professor 42 (42.4)
 Associate professor 29 (29.3)
 Professor 23 (23.2)
Faculty Track
 Academic 95 (96.0)
 Research 3 (3.0)
 Other 1 (1.0)
No. of Years as Faculty at Current Institution
 0-5 50 (50.5)
 6-10 16 (16.2)
 11-15 11 (11.1)
 16-20 14 (14.1)
 >20 8 (8.1)

a Of 105 participants, 99 (94.3%) provided responses to demographic questions.

Table 1.
Demographic Characteristics of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study (n=99)a
Characteristics No. (%)
Gender
 Female 56 (56.6)
 Male 38 (38.4)
 Prefer not to respond 5 (5.1)
Race/Ethnicity
 American Indian or Alaskan Native 1 (1.0)
 Asian 2 (2.0)
 Black 1 (1.0)
 Hispanic or Latino 1 (1.0)
 Multiracial 3 (3.0)
 White 80 (80.8)
 Prefer not to respond 11 (11.1)
Department
 Basic sciences/biomedical affairs 47 (47.5)
 Clinical affairs 49 (49.5)
 Other 3 (3.0)
Employment Status
 Full time (≥32 h/wk) 84 (84.8)
 Part time (<32 h/wk) 15 (15.2)
Faculty Rank
 Instructor 5 (5.1)
 Assistant professor 42 (42.4)
 Associate professor 29 (29.3)
 Professor 23 (23.2)
Faculty Track
 Academic 95 (96.0)
 Research 3 (3.0)
 Other 1 (1.0)
No. of Years as Faculty at Current Institution
 0-5 50 (50.5)
 6-10 16 (16.2)
 11-15 11 (11.1)
 16-20 14 (14.1)
 >20 8 (8.1)

a Of 105 participants, 99 (94.3%) provided responses to demographic questions.

×
Table 2.
Relationship Between Overall Vitality and the 3 Indicators of Vitality and Various Participant Characteristics
  df  
Characteristic F Numerator Denominator P Value
Overall Vitality
 Gender 2.09 2 96 .13
 Race/ethnicity 1.94 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 2.10 3 95 .11
 Faculty track 0.21 2 96 .81
 Employment status 0.54 1 97 .47
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
Professional Engagement
 Gender 2.25 2 96 .11
 Race/ethnicity 1.89 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 1.67 3 95 .18
 Faculty track 0.84 2 96 .43
 Employment status 0.85 1 97 .36
 Department 2.45 2 96 .09
Productivity
 Gender 0.44 2 96 .65
 Race/ethnicity 0.57 5 93 .72
 Faculty rank 1.83 3 95 .15
 Faculty track 0.52 2 96 .59
 Employment status 1.10 1 97 .30
 Department 0.06 2 96 .94
Career Satisfaction
 Gender 2.15 2 96 .12
 Race/ethnicity 1.07 5 93 .38
 Faculty rank 3.03 3 95 .03
 Faculty track 0.24 2 96 .79
 Employment status 0.14 1 97 .71
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
Table 2.
Relationship Between Overall Vitality and the 3 Indicators of Vitality and Various Participant Characteristics
  df  
Characteristic F Numerator Denominator P Value
Overall Vitality
 Gender 2.09 2 96 .13
 Race/ethnicity 1.94 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 2.10 3 95 .11
 Faculty track 0.21 2 96 .81
 Employment status 0.54 1 97 .47
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
Professional Engagement
 Gender 2.25 2 96 .11
 Race/ethnicity 1.89 5 93 .10
 Faculty rank 1.67 3 95 .18
 Faculty track 0.84 2 96 .43
 Employment status 0.85 1 97 .36
 Department 2.45 2 96 .09
Productivity
 Gender 0.44 2 96 .65
 Race/ethnicity 0.57 5 93 .72
 Faculty rank 1.83 3 95 .15
 Faculty track 0.52 2 96 .59
 Employment status 1.10 1 97 .30
 Department 0.06 2 96 .94
Career Satisfaction
 Gender 2.15 2 96 .12
 Race/ethnicity 1.07 5 93 .38
 Faculty rank 3.03 3 95 .03
 Faculty track 0.24 2 96 .79
 Employment status 0.14 1 97 .71
 Department 0.61 2 96 .54
×
Table 3.
Topic Areas of Professional Development Activities Attended by Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members
Topic Areas
No. of Times Attended Promotion and Tenure (n=104) Teaching and Learning (n=105) Research (n=105) Leadership (n=104) Diversity and Inclusion (n=105) Career Management (n=105)
0 65 (62.5) 0 33 (31.4) 45 (43.3) 28 (26.7) 52 (49.5)
1-3 32 (30.8) 50 (47.6) 51 (48.6) 39 (37.5) 56 (53.3) 45 (42.9)
4-6 4 (3.8) 21 (20) 14 (13.3) 11 (10.6) 15 (14.3) 5 (4.8)
7-9 0 10 (9.5) 3 (2.9) 4 (3.8) 4 (3.8) 2 (1.9)
>10 3 (2.9) 24 (22.9) 4 (3.8) 5 (4.8) 2 (1.9) 1 (0.9)
Table 3.
Topic Areas of Professional Development Activities Attended by Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members
Topic Areas
No. of Times Attended Promotion and Tenure (n=104) Teaching and Learning (n=105) Research (n=105) Leadership (n=104) Diversity and Inclusion (n=105) Career Management (n=105)
0 65 (62.5) 0 33 (31.4) 45 (43.3) 28 (26.7) 52 (49.5)
1-3 32 (30.8) 50 (47.6) 51 (48.6) 39 (37.5) 56 (53.3) 45 (42.9)
4-6 4 (3.8) 21 (20) 14 (13.3) 11 (10.6) 15 (14.3) 5 (4.8)
7-9 0 10 (9.5) 3 (2.9) 4 (3.8) 4 (3.8) 2 (1.9)
>10 3 (2.9) 24 (22.9) 4 (3.8) 5 (4.8) 2 (1.9) 1 (0.9)
×
Table 4.
Desired Faculty Development Activities of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study
Teaching Skills Research Skills Leadership Skills Professional Development
■ Case development
■ Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA format and item writing
■ Curriculum coordination and mapping
■ Facilitating team-based learning
■ Innovations in teaching large groups and content delivery
■ Virtual teaching
■ Getting started with research
■ How to publish one's work
■ Library skills
■ Statistical training
■ Writing grant proposals
■ Budgeting and strategic planning
■ Conflict resolution
■ Managing people
■ Mentoring
■ Women in leadership
■ Appropriate communication with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students
■ Contract negotiation
■ Personal growth and wellness
■ Portfolio creation and management
■ Social media
■ Transitioning from faculty to administration
■ Working with millennial students and colleagues
Table 4.
Desired Faculty Development Activities of Osteopathic Medical School Faculty Members Who Participated in a Faculty Vitality Study
Teaching Skills Research Skills Leadership Skills Professional Development
■ Case development
■ Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA format and item writing
■ Curriculum coordination and mapping
■ Facilitating team-based learning
■ Innovations in teaching large groups and content delivery
■ Virtual teaching
■ Getting started with research
■ How to publish one's work
■ Library skills
■ Statistical training
■ Writing grant proposals
■ Budgeting and strategic planning
■ Conflict resolution
■ Managing people
■ Mentoring
■ Women in leadership
■ Appropriate communication with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students
■ Contract negotiation
■ Personal growth and wellness
■ Portfolio creation and management
■ Social media
■ Transitioning from faculty to administration
■ Working with millennial students and colleagues
×