Effective mentoring is an important component of academic success. Few programs exist to both improve the effectiveness of established mentors and cultivate a multi-specialty mentoring community. In 2008, in response to a faculty survey on mentoring, leaders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital developed the Faculty Mentoring Leadership Program (FMLP) as a peer-learning experience for mid-career and senior faculty physician and scientist mentors to enhance their skills and leadership in mentoring and create a supportive community of mentors. A planning group representing key administrative, educational, clinical, and research mentorship constituencies designed the nine-month course.
Participants met monthly for an hour and a half during lunchtime. Two co-facilitators engaged the diverse group of 16 participants in interactive discussions about cases based on the participants’ experiences. While the co-facilitators discussed with the participants the dyadic mentor-mentee relationship, they specifically emphasized the value of engaging multiple mentors and establishing mentoring networks. In response to post-session and post-course (both immediately and after six months) self-assessments, participants reported substantive gains in their mentoring confidence and effectiveness, experienced a renewed sense of enthusiasm for mentoring, and took initial steps to build a diverse network of mentoring relationships.
In this article, the authors describe the rationale, design, implementation, assessment, and ongoing impact of this innovative faculty mentoring leadership program. They also share lessons learned for other institutions that are contemplating developing a similar faculty mentoring program.
Despite increasing recognition that mentoring is essential early in medical careers, little is known about the prevalence of mentoring programs for medical students. We conducted this study to survey all medical schools in Germany regarding the prevalence of mentoring programs for medical students as well as the characteristics, goals and effectiveness of these programs.
A definition of mentoring was established and program inclusion criteria were determined based on a review of the literature. The literature defined mentoring as a steady, long-lasting relationship designed to promote the mentee's overall development. We developed a questionnaire to assess key characteristics of mentoring programs: the advocated mentoring model, the number of participating mentees and mentors, funding and staff, and characteristics of mentees and mentors (e.g., level of training). In addition, the survey characterized the mentee-mentor relationship regarding the frequency of meetings, forms of communication, incentives for mentors, the mode of matching mentors and mentees, and results of program evaluations. Furthermore, participants were asked to characterize the aims of their programs. The questionnaire consisted of 34 questions total, in multiple-choice (17), numeric (7) and free-text (10) format. This questionnaire was sent to deans and medical education faculty in Germany between June and September 2009. For numeric answers, mean, median, and standard deviation were determined. For free-text items, responses were coded into categories using qualitative free text analysis.
We received responses from all 36 medical schools in Germany. We found that 20 out of 36 medical schools in Germany offer 22 active mentoring programs with a median of 125 and a total of 5,843 medical students (6.9 - 7.4% of all German medical students) enrolled as mentees at the time of the survey. 14 out of 22 programs (63%) have been established within the last 2 years. Six programs (27%) offer mentoring in a one-on-one setting. 18 programs (82%) feature faculty physicians as mentors. Nine programs (41%) involve students as mentors in a peer-mentoring setting. The most commonly reported goals of the mentoring programs include: establishing the mentee's professional network (13 programs, 59%), enhancement of academic performance (11 programs, 50%) and counseling students in difficulties (10 programs, 45%).
Despite a clear upsurge of mentoring programs for German medical students over recent years, the overall availability of mentoring is still limited. The mentoring models and goals of the existing programs vary considerably. Outcome data from controlled studies are needed to compare the efficiency and effectiveness of different forms of mentoring for medical students.
Objective. To implement a student peer-mentoring program with a drug information response assignment in an introductory pharmacy practice course.
Design. Second-year student pharmacists (P2 mentors) enrolled in an independent study course were randomly assigned first-year student pharmacists (P1 mentees) to mentor on a drug information assignment. The P2 mentors provided feedback to P1 mentees' assignment drafts. The P1 mentees had the opportunity to revise the draft prior to turning in the completed assignment to course faculty members for grading.
Assessment. Both P1 mentees and P2 mentors agreed the mentorship improved their ability to prepare a drug information response (76% and 100%, respectively). A majority of the student pharmacists would choose to be involved in the program again.
Conclusion. The student peer-mentoring program was successful in improving student pharmacists' perceptions of ability to compose a drug information response.
mentor; peer mentoring; drug information; pharmacy education
Mentoring is a core component of medical education and career success. There is increasing global emphasis on mentorship of young scientists in order to train and develop the next leaders in global health. However, mentoring efforts are challenged by the high clinical, research and administrative demands. We evaluated the status and nature of mentoring practices at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MAKCHS).
Pre-tested, self-administered questionnaires were sent by email to all Fogarty alumni at the MAKCHS (mentors) and each of them was requested to complete and email back the questionnaire. In addition to training level and number of mentors, the questionnaires had open-ended questions covering themes such as; status of mentorship, challenges faced by mentors and strategies to improve and sustain mentorship within MAKCHS. Similarly, open-ended questionnaires were sent and received by email from all graduate students (mentees) registered with the Uganda Society for Health Scientists (USHS). Qualitative data from mentors and mentees was analyzed manually according to the pre-determined themes.
Twenty- two out of 100 mentors responded (14 email and 8 hard copy responses). Up to 77% (17/22) of mentors had Master's-level training and only 18% (4/22) had doctorate-level training. About 40% of the mentors had ≥ two mentees while 27% had none. Qualitative results showed that mentors needed support in terms of training in mentoring skills and logistical/financial support to carry out successful mentorship. Junior scientists and students reported that mentorship is not yet institutionalized and it is currently occurring in an adhoc manner. There was lack of awareness of roles of mentors and mentees. The mentors mentioned the limited number of practicing mentors at the college and thus the need for training courses and guidelines for faculty members in regard to mentorship at academic institutions.
Both mentors and mentees were willing to improve mentorship practices at MAKCHS. There is need for institutional commitment to uphold and sustain the mentorship best practices. We recommend a collaborative approach by the stakeholders in global health promotion to build local capacity in mentoring African health professionals.
Mentorship; capacity building; health care delivery; research; academic institutions; Africa
The Integra Initiative designed, tested, and adapted protocols for peer mentorship in order to improve service providers’ skills, knowledge, and capacity to provide quality integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. This paper describes providers’ experiences in mentoring as a method of capacity building. Service providers who were skilled in the provision of FP or PNC services were selected to undergo a mentorship training program and to subsequently build the capacity of their peers in SRH-HIV integration.
A qualitative assessment was conducted to assess provider experiences and perceptions about peer mentoring. In-depth interviews were conducted with twelve mentors and twenty-three mentees who were trained in SRH and HIV integration. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and imported to NVivo 9 for analysis. Thematic analysis methods were used to develop a coding framework from the research questions and other emerging themes.
Mentorship was perceived as a feasible and acceptable method of training among mentors and mentees. Both mentors and mentees agreed that the success of peer mentoring largely depended on cordial relationship and consensus to work together to achieve a specific set of skills. Mentees reported improved knowledge, skills, self-confidence, and team work in delivering integrated SRH and HIV services as benefits associated with mentoring. They also associated mentoring with an increase in the range of services available and the number of clients seeking those services. Successful mentorship was conditional upon facility management support, sufficient supplies and commodities, a positive work environment, and mentors selection.
Mentoring was perceived by both mentors and mentees as a sustainable method for capacity building, which increased providers’ ability to offer a wide range of and improved access to integrated SRH and HIV services.
Mentoring; Integration; HIV; Sexual reproductive health; Postnatal care; Family planning
Mentoring in nursing is an important process for socializing nurse researchers, developing a body of professional knowledge, and influencing career choices of students. Self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997) is concerned with one's perceived ability to perform tasks within a specific domain.
The purpose of this study was to compare undergraduate and graduate student's perceptions of their abilities to pursue research (research self-efficacy) with their mentors' perceptions. A cross-sectional design was used to study mentors in any academic discipline who received external funding and worked with an undergraduate or graduate student on the research study. Recruitment and data collection were completed using the Internet and included 21 faculty mentors and student dyads. The Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory was used to measure research self-efficacy. Differences between the faculty mentor's perception of the student's confidence in research and students' perception were significant at p=<0.001.
Misjudgment of efficacy appraisals can result in opportunities forsaken and careers not pursued. Assisting mentors to guide students' skill perfection may increase students' choice of research careers, promote the effectiveness of mentorship, aid in the development of a body of professional knowledge and benefit careers of both mentors and students.
mentor; student, research career; self-efficacy
Little is known about the characteristics of mentoring relationships formed between faculty and medical students. Individual mentoring relationships of clinical medical students at Munich Medical School were characterized quantitatively and qualitatively.
All students signing up for the mentoring program responded to a questionnaire on their expectations (n = 534). Mentees were asked to give feedback after each of their one-on-one meetings (n = 203). A detailed analysis of the overall mentoring process and its characteristics was performed. For qualitative text analysis, free-text items were analyzed and categorized by two investigators. Quantitative analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and Wilcoxon-test to assess differences in grades between students with and without mentors.
High-performing students were significantly more likely to participate in the mentoring program (p<0.001). Topics primarily discussed include the mentee's personal goals (65.5%), career planning (59.6%), and experiences abroad (57.6%). Mentees mostly perceived their mentors as counselors (88.9%), providers of ideas (85.0%), and role models (73.3%). Mentees emphasized the positive impact of the mentoring relationship on career planning (77.2%) and research (75.0%).
Medical students with strong academic performance as defined by their grades are more likely to participate in formal mentoring programs. Mentoring relationships between faculty and medical students are perceived as a mutually satisfying and effective instrument for key issues in medical students’ professional development.
Mentoring relationships are a highly effective means of enhancing the bidirectional flow of information between faculty and medical students. A mentoring program can thus establish a feedback loop enabling the educational institution to swiftly identify and address issues of medical students.
mentoring; mentor; mentee; medical students; faculty; one-on-one mentoring
Although mentoring is acknowledged as a key to successful and satisfying careers in medicine, formal mentoring programs for medical students are lacking in most countries. Within the framework of planning a mentoring program for medical students at Zurich University, an investigation was carried out into what types of programs exist, what the objectives pursued by such programs are, and what effects are reported.
A PubMed literature search was conducted for 2000 - 2008 using the following keywords or their combinations: mentoring, mentoring program, medical student, mentor, mentee, protégé, mentorship. Although a total of 438 publications were identified, only 25 papers met the selection criteria for structured programs and student mentoring surveys.
The mentoring programs reported in 14 papers aim to provide career counseling, develop professionalism, increase students' interest in research, and support them in their personal growth. There are both one-to-one and group mentorships, established in the first two years of medical school and continuing through graduation. The personal student-faculty relationship is important in that it helps students to feel that they are benefiting from individual advice and encourages them to give more thought to their career choices. Other benefits are an increase in research productivity and improved medical school performance in general. Mentored students also rate their overall well-being as higher. - The 11 surveys address the requirements for being an effective mentor as well as a successful mentee. A mentor should empower and encourage the mentee, be a role model, build a professional network, and assist in the mentee's personal development. A mentee should set agendas, follow through, accept criticism, and be able to assess performance and the benefits derived from the mentoring relationship.
Mentoring is obviously an important career advancement tool for medical students. In Europe, more mentoring programs should be developed, but would need to be rigorously assessed based on evidence of their value in terms of both their impact on the career paths of juniors and their benefit for the mentors. Medical schools could then be monitored with respect to the provision of mentorships as a quality characteristic.
Mentoring is a critical component of career development and success for clinical translational science research faculty. Yet few programs train faculty in mentoring skills. We describe outcomes from the first two faculty cohorts who completed a Mentor Development Program (MDP) at UCSF. Eligibility includes having dedicated research time, expertise in a scientific area and a desire to be a lead research mentor. A post-MDP survey measured the program’s impact on enhancement of five key mentoring skills, change in the Mentors-in-Training (MIT) self-rated importance of being a mentor to their career satisfaction, and overall confidence in their mentoring skills. Since 2007, 29 MITs participated in and 26 completed the MDP. Only 15% of the MITs reported any previous mentor training. Overall, 96% of MITs felt that participation in the MDP helped them to become better mentors. A majority reported a significant increase in confidence in mentoring skills and most reported an increased understanding of important mentoring issues at UCSF. MITs reported increased confidence in overall and specific mentoring skills after completion of the MDP. The MDP can serve as a model for other institutions to develop the next generation of clinical-translational research mentors.
mentoring; faculty; clinical and translational research
The goal of this research was to better understand the experiences and perspectives of mentors in a program designed to increase the number of American Indian students garnering PhDs. Challenges and benefits associated with mentoring undergraduates were identified through semistructured interviews.
Successfully recruiting students from underrepresented groups to pursue biomedical science research careers continues to be a challenge. Early exposure to scientific research is often cited as a powerful means to attract research scholars with the research mentor being critical in facilitating the development of an individual's science identity and career; however, most mentors in the biological sciences have had little formal training in working with research mentees. To better understand mentors’ experiences working with undergraduates in the laboratory, we conducted semistructured interviews with 15 research mentors at a public university in the Midwest. The interviewed mentors were part of a program designed to increase the number of American Indians pursuing biomedical/biobehavioral research careers and represented a broad array of perspectives, including equal representation of male and female mentors, mentors from underrepresented groups, mentors at different levels of their careers, and mentors from undergraduate and professional school departments. The mentors identified benefits and challenges in being an effective mentor. We also explored what the term underrepresented means to the mentors and discovered that most of the mentors had an incomplete understanding about how differences in culture could contribute to underrepresented students’ experience in the laboratory. Our interviews identify issues relevant to designing programs and courses focused on undergraduate student research.
We describe a specific mentoring approach in an academic general internal medicine setting by audiotaping and transcribing all mentoring sessions in the year. In advance, the mentor recorded his model. During the year, the mentee kept a process journal.
Qualitative analysis revealed development of an intimate relationship based on empathy, trust, and honesty. The mentor's model was explicitly intended to develop independence, initiative, improved thinking, skills, and self-reflection. The mentor's methods included extensive and varied use of questioning, active listening, standard setting, and frequent feedback. During the mentoring, the mentee evolved as a teacher, enhanced the creativity in his teaching, and matured as a person. Specific accomplishments included a national workshop on professional writing, an innovative approach to inpatient attending, a new teaching skills curriculum for a residency program, and this study.
A mentoring model stressing safety, intimacy, honesty, setting of high standards, praxis, and detailed planning and feedback was associated with mentee excitement, personal and professional growth and development, concrete accomplishments, and a commitment to teaching.
mentoring; qualitative analysis; career development; faculty development; medical education
The Graduate Partnerships Program (GPP), established in 2000, links universities with National Institutes of Health (NIH) laboratories for predoctoral training. Several partnerships required that students create collaborative dissertations between at least one NIH and one university research mentor. More than 60 students have entered into these co-mentored research collaborations, and many others established them even though not required. Much was learned about the experiences of these and other GPP students by using structured interviews as part of a formal self-study of the GPP in 2005. Complications of trying to work with two mentors are managed through careful program design and mentor selection. In the collaborative model, students develop a complex set of scientific and interpersonal skills. They lead their own independent research projects, drawing on the expertise of multiple mentors and acquiring skills at negotiating everyone's interests. They develop high levels of independence, maturity, flexibility, and the ability to see research questions from different perspectives. No evidence was found that co-mentoring diminishes the normally expected accomplishments of a student during the Ph.D. Multi-mentored dissertations require skills not all graduate students may possess this early in training, but for those who do, they can promote rapid and extensive development of skills needed for collaborative, interdisciplinary research.
To establish a successful educational mentor program for the Web-based doctor of pharmacy pathway at Creighton University, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.
A recruitment process was established and the educational mentor's responsibilities were identified. The roles of faculty instructors, the Office of Information Technology and Learning Resources, the Office of Faculty Development and Assessment, and Web-based Pharmacy Pathway Office as it pertains to the training of educational mentors were clearly delineated. An evaluation process for all key aspects of the program was also put in place.
Student, instructor, and mentor evaluations showed overall satisfaction with the program. Persistent areas of concern include the difficulty in motivating students to participate and/or engage in learning with the mentors. Many students remain unclear about mentors' roles and responsibilities. Lastly, in regards to mentors, there is a limited utilization of provided online resources.
The educational mentor program has become an invaluable component of the Web pathway and has enhanced the interactions of students with the content and mentor.
Web-based education; PharmD program; quality assurance; mentor; assessment; distance education
The authors developed mentorship programs to train minority junior faculty and advanced graduate students in mental health services research.
The programs target “mentees” in the Southwest United States and offer long-term mentoring, seminars, group supervision, seed funding for peer reviewed research proposals, peer interaction, and weeklong institutes that feature presentations and mentoring by recognized experts.
Evaluations suggest that these programs have influenced participants’ career development. Most mentees have continued to evolve in their research careers, submitted research grant applications, and obtained postdoctoral fellowships, and/or have advanced in faculty positions. Some mentees have expressed an opinion that without the support network that these programs provided, they would have abandoned their academic careers.
Future training efforts should take into account a series of challenges and tensions that affect mentees’ careers and personal lives, including the emotional legacy of discrimination and historical trauma.
Good mentoring is a key variable for determining success in completing a doctoral program. We identified prevailing mentoring practices among doctoral students and their mentors, identified common challenges facing doctoral training, and proposed some solutions to enhance the quality of the doctoral training experience for both candidates and mentors at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS).
This cross-sectional qualitative evaluation was part of the monitoring and evaluation program for doctoral training. All doctoral students and their mentors were invited for a half-day workshop through the MakCHS mailing list. Prevailing doctoral supervision and mentoring guidelines were summarised in a one-hour presentation. Participants were split into two homogenous students’ (mentees’) and mentors’ groups to discuss specific issues using a focus group discussion (FGD) guide, that highlighted four main themes in regard to the doctoral training experience; what was going well, what was not going well, proposed solutions to current challenges and perceived high priority areas for improvement. The two groups came together again and the note-takers from each group presented their data and discussions were recorded by a note-taker.
Twelve out of 36 invited mentors (33%) and 22 out of 40 invited mentees (55%) attended the workshop. Mentors and mentees noted increasing numbers of doctoral students and mentors, which provided opportunities for peer mentorship. Delays in procurement and research regulatory processes subsequently delayed students’ projects. Similarly, mentees mentioned challenges of limited; 1) infrastructure and mentors to support basic science research projects, 2) physical office space for doctoral students and their mentors, 3) skills in budgeting and finance management and 4) communication skills including conflict resolution. As solutions, the team proposed skills’ training, induction courses for doctoral students-mentor teams, and a Frequently Asked Questions’ document, to better inform mentors’, mentees’ expectations and experiences.
Systemic and infrastructural limitations affect the quality of the doctoral training experience at MaKCHS. Clinical and biomedical research infrastructure, in addition to training in research regulatory processes, procurement and finance management, communication skills and information technology, were highlighted as high priority areas for strategic interventions to improve mentoring within doctoral training of clinician scientists.
Mentorship; Doctoral training; Supervision; Capacity building; Health care; Low and middle income countries; Uganda
Mentorship is crucial for academic productivity and advancement for clinical and translational (CT) science faculty. However, little is known about the long-term effects of mentor training programs. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Clinical and Translational Science Institute launched a Mentor Development Program (MDP) in 2007 for CT faculty. We report on an evaluation of the first three cohorts of graduates from the MDP. In 2010, all Mentors in Training (MITs) who completed the MDP from 2007 to 2009 (n=38) were asked to complete an evaluation of their mentoring skills and knowledge; all MITs (100%) completed the evaluation. Two-thirds of MDP graduates reported that they often apply knowledge, attitudes, or skills obtained in the MDP to their mentoring. Nearly all graduates (97%) considered being a mentor important to their career satisfaction. Graduates were also asked about the MDP’s impact on specific mentoring skills; 95% agreed that the MDP helped them to become a better mentor and to focus their mentoring goals. We also describe a number of new initiatives to support mentoring at UCSF that have evolved from the MDP. To our knowledge, this is the first evaluation of the long-term impact of a mentor training program for CT researchers.
A comprehensive mentoring program includes a variety of components. One of the most important is the ongoing assessment of and feedback to mentors. Scholars need strong active mentors who have the expertise, disposition, motivation, skills, and the ability to accept feedback and to adjust their mentoring style. Assessing the effectiveness of a given mentor is no easy task. Variability in learning needs and academic goals among scholars makes it difficult to develop a single evaluation instrument or a standardized procedure for evaluating mentors. Scholars, mentors, and program leaders are often reluctant to conduct formal evaluations, as there are no commonly accepted measures. The process of giving feedback is often difficult and there is limited empirical data on efficacy. This article presents a new and innovative six-component approach to mentor evaluation that includes the assessment of mentee training and empowerment, peer learning and mentor training, scholar advocacy, mentee–mentor expectations, mentor self-reflection, and mentee evaluation of their mentor.
mentors; evaluation; outcomes
We describe a unique Research Experience for Undergraduates and Research Experience for Veterinary students summer program at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The program focused on interdisciplinary research at the interface of biology and mathematics. Participants were selected to work on projects with a biology mentor and a mathematics mentor in an environment that promoted collaboration outside of the students' respective disciplines. There were four research projects with teams of four participants and two faculty mentors. The participants consisted of a mixture of 10 undergraduates in biology- and mathematics-related disciplines, four veterinary students, and two high-school teachers. The activities included lectures on both the biological and mathematical backgrounds of the projects, tutorials for software, and sessions on ethics, graduate school, and possible career paths for individuals interested in biology and mathematics. The program was designed to give students the ability to actively participate in the scientific research process by working on a project, writing up their results in a final report, and presenting their work orally. We report on the results of our evaluation surveys of the participants.
The professional development of under-represented faculty may be enhanced by mentorship, but we understand very little about the mechanisms by which mentoring brings about change. Our study posed the research question, what are the mechanisms by which mentoring may support professional development in under-represented groups?
The study aims to: (i) to pilot a mentoring scheme for female academics; (ii) to compare various health-related and attitudinal measures in mentees at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year into the mentoring relationship and, (iii) to compare pre-mentoring expectations to outcomes at 6 months and 1 year follow-up for mentees and mentors.
Female academic mentees were matched 1:1 or 2:1 with more senior academic mentors. Online surveys were conducted to compare health-related and attitudinal measures and expectations of mentoring at baseline with outcomes at 6 months and 1 year using paired t-tests and McNemar's test for matched cohort data.
N = 46 mentoring pairs, 44 (96%) mentees completed the pre-mentoring survey, 37 (80%) at 6 months and 30 (65%) at 1 year. Job-related well-being (anxiety-contentment), self-esteem and self-efficacy all improved significantly and work-family conflict diminished at 1 year. Highest expectations were career progression (39; 89%), increased confidence (38; 87%), development of networking skills (33; 75%), better time-management (29; 66%) and better work-life balance (28; 64%). For mentees, expectations at baseline were higher than perceived achievements at 6 months or 1 year follow-up.
For mentors (N = 39), 36 (92%) completed the pre-mentoring survey, 32 (82%) at 6 months and 28 (72%) at 1 year. Mentors' highest expectations were of satisfaction in seeing people progress (26; 69%), seeing junior staff develop and grow (19; 53%), helping solve problems (18; 50%), helping women advance their careers (18; 50%) and helping remove career obstacles (13; 36%). Overall, gains at 6 months and 1 year exceeded pre-mentoring expectations.
This uncontrolled pilot study suggests that mentoring can improve aspects of job-related well-being, self-esteem and self-efficacy over 6 months, with further improvements seen after 1 year for female academics. Work-family conflict can also diminish. Despite these gains, mentees' prior expectations were shown to be unrealistically high, but mentors' expectations were exceeded.
Purpose: Until now, mentoring has hardly been used by the medical profession in German-speaking countries as a means of supporting junior physicians in their careers. The aim of the mentoring project described here was to obtain information for promoting and developing future mentoring programs at a university hospital.
Method: A new integrated mentoring model was developed and implemented over a 12-month period. Peer groups were advised on the mentoring process by mentors and program managers. A total of eight mentoring groups (40 peers) from four departments of a university hospital took part in the project: four voluntarily, and four on a compulsory basis. The evaluation was carried out using qualitative methods for analysis of the group protocols and the focus group interviews with the participants.
Results: Group discussions revealed that individual mentees, young female physicians in particular, developed concrete career plans and initiated further career-relevant steps. Some mentees - again more women than men - were promoted to senior physician posts. Further measurable career steps were increased research and publishing activity, and research fellowships abroad. The group process developed in five typical phases (forming, storming, norming, performing, and finalizing), which differed according to whether the groups had been formed on a voluntary or compulsory basis. In the evaluation interviews, mentees emphasized the following as effective mentoring factors: Concrete definition of own career goals; exchange of experiences within the peer groups; support and motivation from the mentors; and fostering of the group process by the program managers.
Conclusion: Participation in mentoring programs has to be voluntary. Mentees are motivated, autonomous, goal-oriented and prepared to take action. Mentors serve as examples and advisers. They derive satisfaction from being held in high esteem, as well as from the advancement of their own careers. Program managers have experience in systems theory and group dynamics, structure the group processes, and evaluate the quality of the results. Hospital management should regard mentoring as a business strategy and a means of staff development and quality management, and provide the necessary resources. The mentoring program presented here is being extended to other departments of the hospital on the basis of the positive experiences it has offered.
Science educators agree that an undergraduate research experience is critical for students who are considering graduate school or research careers. The process of researching a topic in the primary literature, designing experiments, implementing those experiments, and analyzing the results is essential in developing the analytical skills necessary to become a true scientist. Because training undergraduates who will only be in the laboratory for a short period is time consuming for faculty mentors, many students are unable to find appropriate research opportunities. We hypothesized that we could effectively mentor several students simultaneously, using a method that is a hybrid of traditional undergraduate research and a traditional laboratory course. This article describes a paradigm for mentored undergraduate research in molecular microbiology where students have ownership of their individual projects, but the projects are done in parallel, enabling the faculty mentor to guide multiple students efficiently.
In academic medicine, women physicians lag behind their male counterparts in advancement and promotion to leadership positions. Lack of mentoring, among other factors, has been reported to contribute to this disparity. Peer mentoring has been reported as a successful alternative to the dyadic mentoring model for women interested in improving their academic productivity. We describe a facilitated peer mentoring program in our institution's department of medicine.
Nineteen women enrolled in the program were divided into 5 groups. Each group had an assigned facilitator. Members of the respective groups met together with their facilitators at regular intervals during the 12 months of the project. A pre- and post-program evaluation consisting of a 25-item self-assessment of academic skills, self-efficacy, and academic career satisfaction was administered to each participant.
At the end of 12 months, a total of 9 manuscripts were submitted to peer-reviewed journals, 6 of which are in press or have been published, and another 2 of which have been invited to be revised and resubmitted. At the end of the program, participants reported an increase in their satisfaction with academic achievement (mean score increase, 2.32 to 3.63; P = 0.0001), improvement in skills necessary to effectively search the medical literature (mean score increase, 3.32 to 4.05; P = 0.0009), an improvement in their ability to write a comprehensive review article (mean score increase, 2.89 to 3.63; P = 0.0017), and an improvement in their ability to critically evaluate the medical literature (mean score increased from 3.11 to 3.89; P = 0.0008).
This facilitated peer mentoring program demonstrated a positive impact on the academic skills and manuscript writing for junior women faculty. This 1-year program required minimal institutional resources, and suggests a need for further study of this and other mentoring programs for women faculty.
To explore the mentor–mentee relationship with a focus on determining the characteristics of effective mentors and mentees and understanding the factors influencing successful and failed mentoring relationships.
The authors completed a qualitative study through the Departments of Medicine at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine between March 2010 and January 2011. They conducted individual, semistructured interviews with faculty members from different career streams and ranks and analyzed transcripts of the interviews, drawing on grounded theory.
The authors completed interviews with 54 faculty members and identified a number of themes, including the characteristics of effective mentors and mentees, actions of effective mentors, characteristics of successful and failed mentoring relationships, and tactics for successful mentoring relationships. Successful mentoring relationships were characterized by reciprocity, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connection, and shared values. Failed mentoring relationships were characterized by poor communication, lack of commitment, personality differences, perceived (or real) competition, conflicts of interest, and the mentor’s lack of experience.
Successful mentorship is vital to career success and satisfaction for both mentors and mentees. Yet challenges continue to inhibit faculty members from receiving effective mentorship. Given the importance of mentorship on faculty members’ careers, future studies must address the association between a failed mentoring relationship and a faculty member’s career success, how to assess different approaches to mediating failed mentoring relationships, and how to evaluate strategies for effective mentorship throughout a faculty member’s career.
A formal mentoring program for residents was introduced at our Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2004. The objective of this study was to assess residents' attitudes toward and suggestions for the mentoring program.
An anonymous questionnaire with Likert-scaled questions on multiple areas of the program was distributed to all residents. The responses were scored with a rating of 0, 1, and 2, and mean ratings were calculated.
The response rate was 28 of 40 (70.0%). Areas of the mentoring program deemed most important were “career planning” (mean score 1.85) and “scientific research” (1.51). The most negative aspects of the program were “lack of time” of the mentees (1.57) and the mentors (1.29). When matching mentees with mentors, the most important factors were “specialty/subspecialty” (1.71), “research interests”(1.65), “personality”(1.54), and the “ability to pick one's own mentor”(1.31). The majority of respondents (9 of 14, 64.3%) welcomed e-mail reminders to set up meetings with their mentor. These data have resulted in significant changes in our mentoring program. Future directions include continued surveillance of our program and collaboration between different residency programs in order to maximize the benefit of the resident mentor program.
A summer program was created for undergraduates and graduate students that teaches bioinformatics concepts, offers skills in professional development, and provides research opportunities in academic and industrial institutions. We estimate that 34 of 38 graduates (89%) are in a career trajectory that will use bioinformatics. Evidence from open-ended research mentor and student survey responses, student exit interview responses, and research mentor exit interview/survey responses identified skills and knowledge from the fields of computer science, biology, and mathematics that are critical for students considering bioinformatics research. Programming knowledge and general computer skills were essential to success on bioinformatics research projects. General mathematics skills obtained through current undergraduate natural sciences programs were adequate for the research projects, although knowledge of probability and statistics should be strengthened. Biology knowledge obtained through the didactic phase of the program and prior undergraduate education was adequate, but advanced or specific knowledge could help students progress on research projects. The curriculum and assessment instruments developed for this program are available for adoption by other bioinformatics programs at http://www.calstatela.edu/SoCalBSI.