Academic faculty benefit from professional development planning. It is helpful to self-assess periodically and focus attention on the professional activities and projects that align with one’s professional goals. The process of professional development planning creates clarity and facilitates a prioritization of activities to avoid getting lost in day-to-day tasks and duties. This resource offers an approach to professional development planning that is similar to the concept of a learning contract. We emphasize the importance of obtaining feedback about the professional development plan from peers and senior mentors. We also encourage individuals to better understand their professional network and identify potential additions to their network. The activities surrounding professional development planning are intended to enhance academic productivity and professional satisfaction. This planning session has been presented to many different types of learners, including second- and third-year residents, chief residents, fellows, and mid-level faculty. Evaluations from all the presentations indicated that more than 90% of the participants agreed the session met its educational objectives. Participants gave specific positive feedback regarding the section on strategies to enhance the professional development plan, garner mentors, and develop an effective professional network.
By the end of this resource, participants should be able to:
- Articulate the importance of personal and professional development planning.
- Describe the process of professional development planning.
- Identify their network of mentors and professional colleagues.
- List strategies for career advancement in academic medicine.
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