Faculty Development Program

Faculty Training Travel Grant

    The Internal Medicine Department recognizes the importance of education and training of our faculty. While most of this is paid out of personal funds, divisional funds or other sources, the IM department provides a special grant program to allow faculty to attend or participate in programs that will both benefit their personal career development and provide new skills or knowledge that will then be used to strengthen our department. Examples of programs that would qualify include: Learning a new clinical procedure to start or expand a program, attending a conference to develop or enhance a new or existing program, attending a leadership conference to learn new skills. These are just examples and are not to limit ideas or applications.

    How much can I receive?
    Faculty development travel training grants will be for up to $2500. Applications can be made throughout the year. Quarterly applications will be reviewed. The deadline for each quarter’s submission will be January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15. Faculty are encouraged to apply up to a year prior to the planned travel/activity.

    Who Can Apply?
    Faculty at any level may qualify for a travel/activity grant. Faculty must have been on staff for a minimum of 1 year before applying. The faculty applicant must discuss with his/her divisional chair. Faculty may only receive the grant every 2 years. The review committee will give preference to those that have never been funded and were funded more than three years ago.

    How do I apply?
    Complete the application form on line via the REDCap survery. Please access the application here: https://redcap.vcu.edu/rc/surveys/?s=TSxSyL. Please provide an estimated budget and a program brochure or link to the program information. If a program brochure is not available please be sure to give details about what the program is and what you will be learning.

    Who decides on which applications are selected?
    A committee which will include the Associate Chair for Faculty Development and a representative from each of the Assistant, Associate, and Professor levels will review the applications and determine which will provide the best personal development as well as input back to the department. The committee does have the ability to allocate full or partial funding.

    What happens if the application is selected?
    All travel authorizations and procedures for the university and/or MCVAP must be followed. Travel will be reimbursed as per these guidelines with proper documentation. Each year following the travel grant you will receive a survey. The survey will be short but is aim at monitoring the outcomes of these travel grants. Completion of the yearly follow-ups will be required for future travel grant funding.

    Questions?? Contact Curtis N. Sessler, MD, FCCP, FCCM, Associate Chair for IM Faculty Development at curtis.sessler@vcuhealth.org.

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Internal Medicine Professional Development Fund

    As an academic Department of Internal Medicine, it is the expectation that all physician Faculty members pursue continuing medical education (CME) within their specialty/subspecialty by annually attending a CME meeting of an appropriate professional society. The department also encourages membership in professional societies and recognizes the costs to faculty and staff of professional dues, ABIM maintenance of certification, educational materials, and other professional expenses.

    Therefore, to further support our faculty and staff in professional development, starting on July 1, 2015, the department will have a new and expanded Internal Medicine Professional Development Fund (IMPDF). Please note that these changes are subject to the DOIM meeting budget and the fiscal integrity of the Department and MCVP.

    The details of the IMPDF are the following. On an annual fiscal year basis:

    • Each full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) physician faculty member will be provided with $3,000 to support attendance at CME/professional meetings and other professional expenses, as outlined below
    • Each full-time equivalent clinical mid-level provider (Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants) will be provided with $1,500
    • Each full-time Teaching & Administration (Ph.D.) faculty will be provided with $1,000

    Support for part-time faculty and staff would be adjusted to reflect their employment status. The IMPDF funds will not carry over into the next fiscal year, and availability of IMPDF funds will be determined annually as part of the department’s budgetary process. More information about the IMPDF including allowable expenses. (PDF)

    Steps for accessing the funds

    Travel Reimbursement

    1. Dually appointed faculty and Ph.D. faculty should login the VCU Blackboard complete the OPA and submit it to Sheryl Brown (sheryl.brown@vcuhealth.org) at least 6 weeks prior to travel.

      MCVP only faculty, NPs and PAs should submit the IMCDP Application (PDF) with their Division Chair’s signature to Sheryl Brown sheryl.brown@vcuhealth.org) at least 6 weeks prior to travel.
    2. A Travel Authorization (TA) (Excel Document) is required for all travel reimbursements.
    3. Please keep in mind that all Out-of-Country travel must receive prior approval from Al Dunn and Keith Purcell.

      Send the completed TA to Sheryl Brown (sheryl.brown@vcuhealth.org) at least 6 weeks prior to travel and she will submit it to Al and Keith for their approval.
    4. Submit all receipts to Sheryl Brown (sheryl.brown@vcuhealth.org) within 120 days of receipt.

    Reimbursements for Books, subscriptions and dues

    1. Submit receipts to Sheryl Brown (sheryl.brown@vcuhealth.org) within 120 days of receipt date.

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Assistant Professor Mentoring Program

    Through the New Faculty Mentoring Program, new assistant professor hires will be included in a yearlong program. The goal of the program is to help assimilate new faculty into the VCU culture and to assist the new faculty with starting their academic careers on a solid footing. Sessions will be held throughout the year covering topics including “Getting To Know The Leadership,” Scholarship, Clinical Practice, and Teaching.

    If you are interested in mentoring during the next program, please contact Dr. Sessler at curtis.sessler@vcuhealth.org.

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Tracking your Success: Promotion and Tenure

    P and T is more than an event it is a process. It is never too early to start planning your promotion and/or tenure path. Each year it is good to evaluate where you stand and what areas you need to work on to be ready to go through the actual Promotion Process. Internal Medicine has instituted a yearly Divisional review for all Assistant Professors and Associate Professors who have been in rank for 3 years.
    Internal Medicine Divisional Review Policy and Forms.

    Below are key documents to help you track your progress and success.

    The first is your CV this must be kept in the VCU CV Standard Format (PDF). Be sure to update your CV on a regular basis. Don’t wait until it is due. If you have awards or appointments which are significant, but may not be well known to individuals outside your area, add some descriptive text to your CV. This will help others to understand. Also remember that for your CV for Promotion and Tenure it is the time to be all inclusive. This is not the time to be humble.

    The next is the SOM 2009 P and T Guidelines (PDF) and the SOM 2014 Promotion and Tenure Policy and Procedures (PDF). Faculty members who have been at VCU for more than three years prior to approval of the 2014 policy, will have the choice of being reviewed under the old (2009) or new (2014) policy until 2018, when all faculty will be reviewed under these guidelines. Those being at VCU less than 3 years will automatically be reviewed under the new policy.

    Having a Teaching Portfolio is an important way to document your teaching theory, skills, and accomplishments. Click here to learn about keeping a Teaching Portfolio.

    The documents below are self-assessment forms to help you track what activities you have and where they may fit toward meeting criteria for Promotion and Tenure. The items are examples as listed in the SOM P and T Guideline. Some of your activities may seem like they fit in more than one area of scholarship, teaching and service. For P and T you can only count them toward one area. This list is not inclusive. Be sure to choose the level that you are working toward. For instance if you are an Assistant Professor use the Associate Prof one.


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Everyone Writes One

    As faculty members we are expected to produce scholarly work. It is also a vital part of academic advancement in promotion and tenure. This year the faculty development program for Internal Medicine is promoting the EVERYONE WRITES ONE program. Our goal is for all faculty to have published a scholarly piece this year. This can be a case report form, a curriculum, a scientific manuscript, a patient education piece or you can decide what fits best with your clinical, service, and scholarship activities.

    On this website are helpful resources to get started. There are checklists, flow sheets for review, a grammar guide (in case you have forgotten what you learned in college English), tips to help avoid rejection, and authorship criteria. There are also full articles on how-to for different types of manuscripts and how to address revisions.

    Take the EVERYONE WRITES ONE challenge! Commit to publishing this year!

    Helpful Checklists, Tips, and Ideas
    (Each is referenced. Some of the full texts are below under Articles on Writing. Download a compressed file of all resources here.)

    1. Citing Funding
    2. VCU Writing Center
    3. Case Reports (Criteria for Publishable Case Reports)
    4. ICMJE Authorship Criteria
    5. Rapid Rejection
    6. Is the Manuscript Important
    7. Manuscript Checklist
    8. Writing an Outline
    9. Clear Science Writing: Active Voice or Passive Voice
    10. Journal Impact
    11. Guidelines on Style for Scientific Writing
    12. Editorial Process
    13. Make Time
    14. MedEdPortal

    Articles on Writing

    1. Responding to Reviewers’ Comments as Part of Writing for Publication.  Happell B (2011) Nurse Researcher 18:4, 23-27.
    2. Revising a Manuscript: Ten Principles to Guide Success for Publication.  Provenzale J M (2010) AJR 195:W382-387 (web exclusive)
    3. How to Write a Patient Case Report. Cohen H, (2006) Am J Health-Syst Pharm 63:1888-92
    4. How to Write Your First Research Paper. Kallestinova E D (2011) Yale Journal of biology and Medicine 84: 181-190
    5. Strategies to Successfully Publish Your First Manuscript. Veness M (2010) 54:395-400
    6. A Step by Step Guide to Writing a Scientific Manuscript. Published by iMedPub  Wenzel et al 
      (also available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/62777886/A-Step-by-Step-Guide-to-Writing-a-Scientific-Manuscript)
    7. Writing a Scientific Medical Manuscript: A Guide for Preparing Manuscript Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Setiati S and Harimurti K. (2007) Acta Med Indones-Indones J Internal Med 39: 50-55.

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Time Management

    “There just isn’t enough time in the day!”

    As academic clinicians, clinician educators, clinician scientist, and scientist, there are many required things that we must do. On top of the must do, are the probably need to do, could do, and the ‘oh why not while I’m at it’ list. Determining what really needs to be done and when is a key skill. This month focuses on time management.

    Time Management Lecture
    A few years ago Dr. Steve Bickston sent me Randy Pausch’s Lecture on Time Management. This lecture was delivered at UVA in November of 2007. This lecture gives both philosophical points on life and goal setting as well as specifics about time management. Some of the suggestions are for students but they can be applied to all of us. It is 76 minutes long.

    Ideas for this month.

    1. Find time to meet with your mentor/mentee.
    2. Agree ahead of time whether you plan to watch this video together or will watch independently. You can actually just listen to the talk rather than watch.
    3. While watching/listening to the talk write down 5 time saving tips that you would like to try.
    4. When you meet with your mentor/mentee discuss your list. Share other time saving tips that you use.
    5. After you meet, one of you post to our email list the top 5 to 10 tips. Reply all to this email. If you are not the first responder try and add tips that have not been mentioned yet.
    6. Mentors share your ideas for how to manage clinical responsibilities, teaching, scholarship, and family/friends/me time.

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Teaching Excellence

    Tricia Huffman in a commentary wrote, “We are all teachers at all times — with everything we do, with everything we don’t do, with everything we say, with everything we don’t say and with our beliefs, with our attitudes — all of, all of us.” As faculty in an academic medical center this certainly holds true. Perhaps when we are in private clinic we don’t consider ourselves as a teacher, but consider those watching us — our patients, the clinic staff, and our colleagues. Our actions do teach others. It is not only when we are standing in front of a classroom or doing “teaching rounds” with our team that we are teachers. The very act of how we conduct our daily work activities from scholarship to teaching and service.

    Although as faculty we are always teaching, there are those moments that we as the teacher and they as the student are ready. These teachable moments need to be recognized and acted on. Perhaps it is at the bedside of a patient, at a chalk board talk, waiting for an elevator, planning an experiment, or doing sign out rounds. Start looking for these moments and be ready. The days of hour-long lectures and long dissertations are gone. We need to learn to be able to engage the adult learner in ways that not only teach material but get them involved with the material and transform memorized material into usable information.

    VCU has over the past few years had a renewed interest in teaching. A brand new education building with all the bells and whistles, new courses for teaching excellence, and many new workshops. Take a look at the teaching excellence website: http://altlab.vcu.edu/ At this website you will find great information about workshops and resources to help you be your best teacher. It also has information on teaching as scholarship. On this site is also a great New Faculty Resource Guide — it is good for old faculty too: http://rampages.us/nfa/resources/. Be sure to read Stephanie Call’s weekly teaching updates. They always have a hint or tip.

    Since many of us teach on the wards or consults, check out the article below. It describes some of the theory about teaching differences with “millennials” and gives several ways to fit teaching in to the current time constraints. Several of these can easily be moved from ward attending teaching to consult or clinic teaching.

    During this month, take time to speak with your mentor/mentee regarding teaching. Find one new technique and try and incorporate it into your teaching style. Also start your teaching portfolio. Having a Teaching Portfolio is an important way to document your teaching theory, skills, and accomplishments. Click here to learn about keeping a Teaching Portfolio.

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