Original Publication
Open Access

A Case-Based Approach to Chair Development

Published: August 3, 2011 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8606

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  • Instructor's Guide.docx

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Introduction: Creative approaches to chair development are needed, especially for new college of medicine chairs who confront a host of unique challenges when they assume their roles. This resource was developed and implemented to provide a case-based approach to chair development for a new chairs’ retreat. Methods: This resource contains the four cases, each of which was developed and facilitated by a content expert who was an experienced chair or a senior dean. Small groups of new chairs plus one experienced chair discussed each case, and then came together to define the issues the case raised for the new chair, and possible approaches to solutions. Results: A postretreat anonymous evaluation survey showed that the participants found the case-based structure of the retreat very valuable, the cases highly effective at promoting meaningful discussion, and the involvement of experienced chairs to be an important component. The participants’ survey comments highlighted the opportunity for collegial and collaborative chair interactions as being the most valuable aspect of the retreat. Discussion: Little has been written about chair development, thus highlighting the significance of the work. The development of the retreat was based on evidence from educational research that suggests that people learn best in an interactive format, and that relationship building is key to creating effective leadership teams.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, participants will be able to:

  1. Engage in collaborative, cross-disciplinary problem-solving exercises with other chairs and leaders.
  2. Enhance their professional and personal relationships.
  3. Expand the portfolio of knowledge and skills needed to address challenges common to chairs in the areas of scientific misconduct, faculty conflict, inappropriate behavior, and strategic planning.
  4. Advance the development of a high-functioning team of leaders in achieving excellence across the college of medicine's missions.

Author Information

  • Paula Trief: State University of New York Upstate Medical University
  • Lynn Cleary, MD: SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Steven Goodman, PhD: SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • David Duggan, MD: SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Mary Grace Van Nortwick: SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Steven Scheinman, MD: SUNY Upstate Medical University

None to report.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
Trief PM, Cleary LM, Goodman SR, Duggan DB, Van Nortwick MG, Scheinman SJ. A Case-Based Approach to New Chair Development. Poster presented at: Annual Meeting of the Group on Faculty Affairs of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC); August 5-8, 2010; Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Trief P, Cleary L, Goodman S, Duggan D, Van Nortwick M, Scheinman S. A case-based approach to chair development. MedEdPORTAL. 2011;7:8606. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8606