Introduction: Curriculum change and innovation are inevitable parts of progress in postgraduate medical education (PGME). Although implementing change is known to be challenging, change management principles are rarely looked at for support. Change experts contend that organizational readiness for change (ORC) is a critical precursor for the successful implementation of change initiatives. Therefore, this study explores whether assessing ORC in clinical teaching teams could help to understand how curriculum change takes place in PGME.
Methods: Clinical teaching teams in hospitals in the Netherlands were requested to complete the Specialty Training's Organizational Readiness for curriculum Change, a questionnaire to measure ORC in clinical teaching teams. In addition, change-related behavior was measured by using the "behavioral support-for-change" measure. A two-way analysis of variance was performed for all response variables of interest.
Results: In total, 836 clinical teaching team members were included in this study: 288 (34.4%) trainees, 307 (36.7%) clinical staff members, and 241 (28.8%) program directors. Overall, items regarding whether the program director has the authority to lead scored higher compared with the other items. At the other end, the subscales "management support and leadership," "project resources," and "implementation plan" had the lowest scores in all groups.
Discussion: The study brought to light that program directors are clearly in the lead when it comes to the implementation of educational innovation. Clinical teaching teams tend to work together as a team, sharing responsibilities in the implementation process. However, the results also reinforce the need for change management support in change processes in PGME.