Training interprofessional faculty in humanism and professionalism: a qualitative analysis of what is most important


  • Elizabeth A Rider Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, MA USA
  • Deborah D. Navedo Department of Emergency Medicine, STRATUS Simulation Center, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • William T. Branch Jr. Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA



Humanistic interprofessional education, Learning environment


Introduction: The capacity of healthcare professionals to work collaboratively influences faculty and trainees’ professional identity formation, well-being, and care quality. Part of a multi-institutional project*, we created the Faculty Fellowship for Leaders in Humanistic Interprofessional Education at Boston Children’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. We aimed to foster trusting relationships, reflective abilities, collaboration skills, and work together to promote humanistic values within learning environments. Objective: To examine the impact of the faculty fellowship from participants’ reports of “the most important thing learned”.

Methods: We studied participants’ reflections after each of 16 1½ hour fellowship sessions. Curriculum content included: highly functioning teams, advanced team formation, diversity/inclusion, values, wellbeing/renewal/burnout, appreciative inquiry, narrative reflection, and others. Responses to “What was the most important thing you learned?” were analyzed qualitatively using a positivistic deductive approach.

Results: Participants completed 136 reflections over 16 sessions–77% response rate (136/176). Cohort was 91% female; mean age 52.6 (range 32-65); mean years since completion of highest degree 21.4; 64% held doctorates, 36% master’s degrees. 46% were physicians, 27% nurses, 18% social workers, 9% psychologists. 27% participated previously in a learning experience focusing on interprofessional education, collaboration or practice.

Most important learning included: Relational capacities/ Use of self in relationships 96/131 (73%); Attention to values 46/131 (35%); Reflection/ Self-awareness 44/131 (34%); Fostering humanistic learning environments 21/131 (16%).

Discussion: Results revealed the importance of enhancing relational capacities and use of self in relationships including handling emotions; attention to values; reflection/self-awareness and recognition of assumptions; and fostering humanistic learning environments. These topics should receive more emphasis in interprofessional faculty development programs and may help identify teaching priorities.

*Supported in part by a multi-institutional grant from the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation (Dr. Branch as PI; Dr. Rider as site PI).

Author Biography

Elizabeth A Rider, Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, MA USA

Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD

Director of Academic Programs, Institute for Professionalism & Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School

Director, Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism, Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School

Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Co-Chair, Medicine Academy and Carlton Horbelt Senior Fellow, National Academies of Practice, USA

Founding Member, International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare





How to Cite

Rider, E. A., Navedo, D. D., & Branch Jr., W. T. (2022). Training interprofessional faculty in humanism and professionalism: a qualitative analysis of what is most important. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 9(1), 46-47.