Purpose: Job satisfaction plays a large role in enhancing retention and minimizing loss of physicians from careers in academic medicine. The authors explored the effect of learning communities (LCs) on the faculty members' job satisfaction. Methods: Between October 2011 and May 2012, the authors surveyed 150 academic clinical faculty members serving as LC mentors for students at five US medical schools. Factor analysis was used to explore satisfaction themes and relationships between these themes and other characteristics. Results: Factor analysis revealed two major sources of this satisfaction: a Campus Engagement factor (e.g., feeling happier, improved sense of community, better communication skills, and feeling more productive) and a skills factor (e.g., improved clinical skills, being a better doctor). Higher Campus Engagement factor satisfaction was associated with less desire to leave the learning community (p=0.01) and more FTE support for role in LC (p=0.01). Higher skills factor satisfaction was associated with the school that provided more structured faculty development (p=0.0001). Conclusion: Academic clinical faculty members reported serving as a mentor in an LC was a strong source of job satisfaction. LC may be a tool for retaining clinical faculty members in academic careers.
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