Expanding family medicine scholarship to all faculty: The minnesota model for harmonizing clinical care, education, and research missions

Jerica M Berge, Charles Peek, James T. Pacala, Pita Adam, Shailey Prasad, Deborah Finstead, Denise Windenburg, Jill Bengtson, Katie A. Loth, Michele L Allen, Angie L Buffington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota engaged in a 5-year transformation to expand research and scholarship opportunities to all faculty. A harmonization framework was used to integrate the 3 missions of clinical care, education, and research to ensure that research and scholarship were an ongoing focus of the department. Methods: The key elements of our transformation included as follows: (1) a general culture of inquiry, (2) harmonized leadership, (3) training and mentoring, and (4) infrastructure and resources. Components of each of these elements were intentionally instituted simultaneously and iteratively across the 5 years to provide robust and sustainable research and scholarship opportunities for all faculty. Results: Outputs and outcomes of the harmonized transformation indicated that clinical and research faculty publications increased, and the percentage of clinical faculty trained in research and scholarship skills increased across the 5 years. Conclusions: Important lessons learned during the harmonized transformation included the following: (1) key elements of the transformation need to be balanced as an ensemble, (2) cultural and organizational shifts take concerted effort and time, (3) embrace iteration: Allow "bumps in the road" to propel the work forward, (4) transformation is financially feasible, (5) career research faculty can mutually benefit from clinical faculty engaging in scholarship, and (6) honor skepticism or disinterest and let people cultivate enthusiasm for research and scholarship rather than being forced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1065
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 19 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
To promote and incentivize research and scholarship activity among faculty, Discovery Seed Grant Awards were created using philanthropy funding. These $5000 grants are awarded to 2 departmental faculty annually and disbursed over 24 months to provide resources for novel research projects to launch and gain momentum.

Funding Information:
DFMCH Grant Submissions and Grants Awarded by Faculty per Year*

Funding Information:
Our transformation could not have been accomplished or sustained without a financially feasible approach. Several important financial decisions were made. First, we identified what types of support and resources were needed to increase faculty research and scholarship output. Second, we reorganized some roles and redeployed current staff to support this initiative. For example, our research facilitators existed in our department already as either prior project directors for our career research faculty or other departmental tasks but were redeployed as research facilitators in our new model. While the majority of research facilitator time is departmental funded, they are also supported on grant funding. Third, some efforts (eg, Discovery Seed Grants) are funded by philanthropy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Board of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Faculty Development
  • Family Medicine
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Leadership
  • Research Facilitators
  • Scholarly Communication

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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