Survey on academic medicine culture, enablers & barriers in a newly formed academic department in Singapore

Kok Hian Tan, Mor Jack Ng, Wan Shi Tey, Hak Koon Tan, Bernard Chern


Objective: A positive culture of academic medicine is important for improving healthcare, research and medical education. This study seeks to assess academic medicine culture, enablers and barriers with a multi-dimensional structured survey, in a newly formed academic department from the perspectives of faculty and staff.
Methods: Thirteen dimensions relating to academic medicine culture were identified after focused group discussions. Each dimension contains four relevant questions with answers on a 5-point Likert scale. This web-based questionnaire survey was conducted for senior and junior physicians within SingHealth Duke-NUS Obstetrics & Gynecology (OBGYN) academic department in 2011. This unit was started within the academic medical centre formed by SingHealth, and Duke-NUS which is a medical school jointly established by Duke University and National University of Singapore (NUS). Gaps were identified and addressed with various initiatives. A second survey in 2012 and a third survey in 2013 were conducted to assess the change in culture.
Results: In the first survey, the top three favorable dimensions (highest percentage of composite positive response) were: Supervisor and Departmental Support for Academic Medicine (64.0%); Academic Faculty Development (57.9%); and Communications & Feedbacks on Academic Medicine (57.3%). The bottom three dimensions which were areas for improvements were: Academic Clinical Staffing Issue (23.8%); Relating Clinical Service to Research & Education (33.2%); and Academic Teamwork across Institutions (36.3%). In the second survey, there was overall improvement for 12 of the 13 dimensions. In the third survey, there was overall improvement for all the 13 dimensions compared to the first survey.
Conclusions: There were positive changes, likely contributed by initiatives within the department to engage staff and to address gaps in various aspects of academic medicine culture.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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