Annual Reviews & Advancements
Annual Reviews
FITs who are not applying for advancement in a given year are required to complete an annual review instead.  Click here for details on the goals of the annual review, as well as the appropriate process and required documentation to successfully complete an annual review.

Advancements & Graduation
FITs who feel ready to advance to the next level are required to submit advancement materials for the FIT committee’s review and approval.  Click here for details on the appropriate process and required documentation to successfully advance or graduate.

Faculty Guides
Each FIT is paired with an AACH faculty member who will act as a mentor to facilitate progress and growth during training. FITs and Guides meet regularly to discuss learning issues and to negotiate many aspects of training relative to creating and implementing a learning plan. If accepted into the FIT program, you will be provided with a list of available Guides compiled by the FIT Committee. The FIT Co-Directors will assist you in identifying a subset of potential Guides given your individual background, interests, and needs, and will then broker either in-person or phone meetings with these individuals so that the mutual FIT-Guide selection process can begin. More detailed information can be found in Choosing a Guide: A Primer.
FIT Co-Directors
The FIT Co-Directors are faculty of the AACH selected by the Education Committee to provide leadership to the FIT Program.  In their role, they provide supervisory mentorship and guidance to the FITs in the form of individual meetings with each FIT at both the Winter Course and ENRICH and additional email or phone communication as needed. They also co-chair the FIT Committee.  They serve in overlapping three-year terms.

FIT Committee

The purpose of this committee is to supervise the quality of the Faculty-in-Training Program relative to policy, admissions, advancements, graduation, and guides. It convenes monthly and consists of the 2 FIT co-directors, 4-5 faculty and usually 2-3 FITs (our goal is to keep the FIT representation on the committee proportional to the number of FITS in the program at any given time).  

The FIT representatives are selected from among interested FITs by their fellow FITs when an opening becomes available. The FIT representatives generally serve 1 to 2-year terms. Their role is to advocate for FIT needs on the FIT Committee, to assist with administrative projects, and to coordinate FIT-FIT Committee communications. While the committee acknowledges the importance of input from the FIT representatives, the FIT representatives do not vote on advancement or graduation decisions. FIT input in developing training needs assessment, policies, materials and procedures is welcome. This is a wonderful venue for becoming more active in Academy work, having some input into the FIT experience, and learning about effective leadership.

Current FIT Committee

Julie Crosson, MD, Boston Medical Center, Dorchester House
Open slot- TBD


Committee Members:
Renee Bergstrom, EdD (FIT rep)
Steven Borowsky, MD, MPH, Park Nicollet Clinic
Carol Chou, MD, 
University of Pennsylvania
Pamela Duke, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine
Erum Jadoon, MD, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale (FIT rep)
Lynnea Mills, MD, UCSF (FIT rep)
Marla Rowe Gorosh, MD, Henry Ford Health System

FIT Participation at ENRICH
FITs take on increasing levels of responsibility at ENRICH Courses as they advance through the program.  At all levels of the FIT program, FITs are encouraged to participate in the planning and execution of workshops for ENRICH.  The FIT’s specific roles and responsibilities related to the workshop will be determined by the FIT’s own learning goals and directed by the faculty leaders for the workshop.

  • Function as a "participant-observer" in a learning group.
  • Assist in facilitating the orientation for new course participants (optional).
  • As "participant-observers" in the learning groups at ENRICH, they will not participate in the daily learning group debriefings between their group's faculty facilitator and upper level FITs.  They are free to make facilitation skills a personal goal for their learning group work, and in that setting ask for the facilitators to comment or reflect on use of facilitation skills as they come up in the course of the small group sessions. 
  • Will not attend the morning meetings required for all faculty and upper level FITs or the post-course debrief.
  • Participation in the planning and execution of ENRICH workshops is highly encouraged.
  • After the course, FIT 1s should submit a completed Learning Goals Self Assessment Form.
  • Review the Co-facilitation Guidelines prior to the course.
  • Complete Co-facilitation Inventory form prior to the course, and review with faculty co-facilitator.
  • Co-facilitate a learning group with a faculty member of the AACH, taking on increasing responsibility as it relates to group planning and facilitation.
  • Attend pre-course, post-course, and daily faculty meetings.
  • Participate in the daily learning group debriefings with their group’s AACH faculty facilitator.
  • Planning and execution of ENRICH workshops is highly encouraged.
  • After the course, FIT 3s should submit a completed Learning Goals Self Assessment Form and Co-Facilitation Self Assessment Form.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Life in the AACH after the FIT Program

After one graduates from the FIT program and becomes a faculty member of the AACH, other internal education opportunities include: co-facilitating with FIT 2s or FIT 3s, functioning as a Guide for a FIT, or participating in the annual Winter Course or ENRICH Course. 

Additionally, there are a growing number of external education opportunities for AACH faculty to lead custom, on-site workshops on behalf of the Academy.  To be considered for selection, click here to read the faculty selection process.

Core Competency Domains

The Core Competencies of the FIT Program are divided into seven primary domains which are described below.  Appendix I.2 delineates the level of attainment required for each sub-domain for advancement to the next level in the FIT Program.

Clinical Interviewing Skills
  • Structure of the interview
  • Function of the interview
  • Process of the interview
Group Work
  • Recognizes stages of group development: orientation, dissatisfaction, resolution, production
  • Recognizes individual/group behavior: participation, influence, membership, norms, roles, etc.
  • Recognizes interpersonal issues: inclusion, control, intimacy
Small Group Facilitation
  • Implements session stages
  • Promotes progress toward goals: time management, transitions, focus
  • Facilitates participation
  • Deals with problematic participation
  • Creates a supportive learning environment: genuineness, unconditional positive regards, active listening
  • Promotes personal awareness
  • Enables individual responsibility for learning: starts where learner is, encourages self-identification of goals, encourages self-assessment, enables learners to view each other as resources
  • Tracks group process
  • Facilitates effective use of role-play
  • Facilitates effective simulator experiences
  • Facilitates inter-learner provision of effective feedback
  • Provides effective feedback
  • Elicits feedback effectively
  • Negotiates co-facilitation relationship
  • Recognizes and manages co-facilitation dilemmas: power and status, gender, similarities and differences in style, developmental concerns
  • Manages co-facilitation effectively in presence of participants
  • Elicits feedback effectively
  • Provides feedback effectively
Interprofessional Effectiveness
  • Demonstrates genuineness/congruity of feelings and actions
  • Demonstrates unconditional positive regard
  • Communicates accurate empathy
Self-directed Learning
  • Takes responsibility for learning
  • Elicits feedback effectively
  • Utilizes learning plan effectively
Personal Awareness
  • Recognizes personal feelings, attitudes, behaviors
  • Recognizes how these affect others
  • Is able to communicate these awarenesses to others
  • Elicits feedback effectively
FIT Participation at Winter Course

The Winter Course is designed for current faculty and Facilitators-in-Training (FITs) to sharpen their skills and increase their knowledge of relationship-centered care.  The three main components of the Winter Course for FITs are learning groups, workshops, and the FIT Skills Course.  Each FIT will be paired with either their own guide or a surrogate guide (if one's own guide is not attending the Course).

1. Learning Groups - Each FIT/guide pair will have the opportunity to indicate their preference for a learning group modality prior to arriving at the Course.  These learning groups, modalities of which often include Rogerian, Matrix, Family of Origin, and Diversity, are facilitated by outside facilitators allowing FITs and faculty time and space to work on their individual learning goals for the course.

2. Workshops - Several workshops on various topics are offered at Winter Course.  Each FIT will have the opportunity to select which workshop he or she would like to attend.  These selections are usually made on-site at the Course.  FITs of all levels are encouraged to participate in workshop planning leading up to the Winter Course if they so desire.  Solicitation of interest in workshop planning for Winter Course usually occurs in the fall prior to the Course.  In some situations, a workshop being developed for ENRICH will be presented in an early form at Winter Course to allow for additional tweaking of content and presentation.

3. FIT Skills Course - Started in 2014, the FIT Skills Course is an added component of Winter Course aimed to provide FITs with a standard set of skills in relationship-centered communication and facilitation.  The plan is that the skills presented would be on a three-year rotation so that each individual FIT would have an opportunity to learn and practice each of the three sets of skills at least once during his or her time as an FIT.

Grievance Procedure

It is expected that faculty Guides and FITs will occasionally become dissatisfied with the other's performance as a result of it being a close relationship with important mutual expectations. It is also expected that problems can and will usually be resolved by early and direct communication between the FIT and faculty Guide using skills we collectively hold as important. Problems will also be addressed through discussions between the FIT, the Guide and the FIT committee. The FIT committee and co-directors will monitor the progress of FIT-Guide pairs annually to insure that standards of excellence are met. Occasionally, one or both parties will wish for mediation from a third party.

Appendix VIII explains how FITs, Guides/faculty, or both can request mediation.

Learning Plans

Once accepted into the FIT Program, FITs should frequently revisit their preliminary learning plan which was submitted as part of the FIT Application.  While we encourage FITs to utilize the Learning Plan as a living document, making real-time updates and edits, FITs are required to revisit, update, and rework their Learning Plan at least once a year as part of either their Annual Review or an Application for Advancement.  Each version of an FIT Learning Plan should include learning goals, potential resources, target dates, and means of both evaluating progress and obtaining validation. When preparing learning plans, FITs should consult the FIT Core Competencies and include learning goals which relate to the competencies as much as possible.  The Learning Plan will be used by the FITs to guide their learning and interactions with their Guide, and as a tool to document readiness to advance to the next phase of training. It will truly be a "work in progress" as the FITs continually refine their learning goals and training path. 

Click here for a sample learning plan.
Leaves of Absence/Withdrawal

Occasionally, trainees discover that other demands or a change in professional interests require that they suspend or stop training. Forms to be utilized in the event of a formalized leave of absence or withdrawal from the program can be found in Appendix VI and Appendix VII and should be submitted to the FIT Committee for review and approval.

Support by Fellow Faculty-in-Training
FITs meet formally during the Winter Course, as well as during ENRICH, in order to support each other and assure communication between FITs and the FIT Committee. In addition, you will find that other FITs are sources for your learning, by virtue of expertise they bring, as well as feedback they may provide you about your learning goals.

Your time in the Faculty-in-Training Program should be one of significant learning and skill development, as well as one of exciting personal growth. It has the potential to become one of the most valuable educational experiences you undertake. It is intensive. FITs spend considerable time in activities related to the training program, often as much as two to four hours per week, in addition to time spent at the annual required Winter Course and ENRICH Course. These courses are each five days in length and require you to spend time away from your home institution. You and your supervisors should be aware of this level of commitment.

Current FITs

FIT 1: 

Kathleen Kieran, MD, MS, FAAP,FACS
Assistant Professor of Urology and Pediatrics, Associate Program Director for urology residency
Pediatric Urology 
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa
Guide: Stuart Sprague, PhD           

Diane Sliwka, MD
Medical Director of Patient/Provider Experience
University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Peter Lichstein

FIT 2: 
Nuala Crotty, MD
Senior Staff Physician
Spectrum Health System
Grand Rapids, MI
Guide: Jenni Levy 


Stephanie Harman, MD
Palliative Care
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford, California
Guide: David Kern, MD

Erum Jadoon-Khamash, MD
Senior Associate Consultant
Mayo Clinic
Scottsdale, Arizona
Guide: David Gullen

J. Keith Mansel, MD
Professor of Medicine Director, Palliative and Supportive Care Department of Medicine University of Mississippi Medical Center
Guide: Mary Ann Gilligan

Michael Marcin, MD, MSCR
Medical Director, O.M.I Family Center, San Francisco Health.Network Behavioral Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Tim Gilligan, MD 

Anna Meyer, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Otolarynology, Director or Medical Student Curriculum, Director of Otolarynology Cuirriculum for Primary Care Pediatrics Residency and Director of Cochlear Implant Interconnect Program
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Denise Davis, MD

Lynnea Mills, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor
Division of Hospital Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Guide: TBD

Denise Mohess, MD
Palliative Care Physician
Inova Fairfax Palliative Medicine
Alexandria, VA
Guide: Sheira Schlair

Darryl Woods, MD
Head of Diversity and Cultural Competency
Stroger Hospital of Cook County
Chicago, Illinois
Guide: Krista Hirschmann

Kanade Shinkai, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Nan Cochran

FIT 3: 

​A. Renee Bergstrom, Ed.D.
Communication Consultant
Somali Health Care Advocates
Women United  
Lanesboro, Minnesota
​Guide: Denise Davis

Robert Cohen, MD, MSc
Director of Education, Nephrology Division
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Assistant Professor Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA
Guide: Bob Arnold

Sally Fortner, MD
Director of Professionalism 
Department of Anesthesia and Crital Care Medicine
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Guide: Adina Kalet

Suely Grosseman, MSc, PhD
Drexel University College of Medicine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Guide: Dennis Novack, MD

Amy Ship, MD
Internist and Assistant Professor
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts
Guide: Bronwyn Wilson

Copyright © 2017 American Academy on Communication in Healthcare AACH
201 E. Main Street, Suite 1405 Lexington, KY 40507 Phone: 859-514-9211 Fax: 859-514-9207
Site designed and maintained by AMR Management Services
Terms Of Use|Privacy Statement