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Publication Date



swedish learning 21; seattle; swedish


Family Medicine | Medical Education


Purpose: The purpose of this innovative endeavor was to improve scholarly output and collaboration at the Swedish First Hill Family Medicine residency by establishing a Writing Accountability Group (WAG).

Background: While scholarly work during residency training is both required by the ACGME and important for producing physician leaders, many community-based residency programs have no formal structure to support such work and promote collaboration. At our program, faculty worked in functional silos and found it difficult to consistently involve residents in scholarly projects. WAGs have been studied in a variety of settings as a tool to increase scholarly output, improve writing habits, and provide mentorship for junior and senior faculty.

Objectives: We aimed to analyze the effectiveness of a WAG in promoting scholarly work and resident scholarly mentorship in a community-based residency program. By reporting this work, we hope to provide inspiration and a roadmap for other faculty to increase scholarly productivity and joy in their work.

Implementation/Design: After reviewing the literature regarding WAGs, a faculty member at Swedish First Hill Family Medicine invited other faculty to form a WAG at our community-based residency program. Over the next 18 months, a group of 4-6 faculty met every 2-3 weeks for 90-minute sessions to write, provide peer mentorship regarding scholarly pursuits, and collaborate on scholarly projects. Sessions were held on mutually convenient evenings at a faculty member’s home and over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results/Outcomes: To assess the efficacy of the WAG, we measured total scholarly activity in an academic year for the five faculty participants both before (2018-2019) and after (2019-2020) the implementation of the WAG. We used the ACGME template for faculty scholarly activity to identify and categorize different types of activity. The total number of faculty scholarly activities increased from 20 to 44 after the formation of a WAG, representing a 120% increase in our total activity. For scholarly activity that required peer review or conference acceptance, our total number of submissions increased from 14 to 28, yet maintained a similar acceptance rate (79% in 2018-2019, 85% in 2019-2020). While the majority of our scholarly activity consisted of national conference submissions, we also noted increases in publications, podcasts, and other writing submissions. In addition to increased faculty scholarly productivity, our WAG was associated with increases in faculty job satisfaction, faculty collaboration, and resident scholarly activity.

Significance: Creation of a WAG provided a structure for faculty scholarly collaboration and accountability for completion of scholarly projects. The WAG also provided a clear point of contact for other faculty and residents interested in scholarly work. In addition to increasing scholarly output and resident participation, our WAG improved wellness among faculty, providing a sense of collaboration and celebration of our scholarly work, particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan to continue to evaluate the impact of the WAG in future years to look for sustained improvement.


Family Medicine


Graduate Medical Education

Conference / Event Name

Swedish Learning and Celebration Day 2021-22


Swedish Medical Center, Seattle

Write Night: How a Writing Accountability Group (WAG) supports scholarly work and connection at a community residency program