Work engagement in health professions education

Van den Berg et al. 2017. Medical Teacher

Work engagement in health professions education

Work engagement deserves more attention in health professions education because of its positive relations with personal well-being and performance at work. For health professions education, these outcomes have been studied on various levels. Consider engaged clinical teachers, who are seen as better clinical teachers; consider engaged residents, who report committing fewer medical errors than less engaged peers. Many topics in health professions education can benefit from explicitly including work engagement as an intended outcome such as faculty development programs, feedback provision and teacher recognition. In addition, interventions aimed at strengthening resources could provide teachers with a solid foundation for well-being and performance in all their work roles. Work engagement is conceptually linked to burnout. An important model that underlies both burnout and work engagement literature is the job demands-resources (JD-R) model. This model can be used to describe relationships between work characteristics, personal characteristics and well-being and performance at work. We explain how using this model helps identifying aspects of teaching that foster well-being and how it paves the way for interventions which aim to increase teacher’s well-being and performance.