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
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.
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.
Mentorship is perceived to play a significant role in the career development and productivity of academic clinicians, but little is known about the characteristics of mentorship. This knowledge would be useful for those developing mentorship programs.
To complete a systematic review of the qualitative literature to explore and summarize the development, perceptions and experiences of the mentoring relationship in academic medicine.
Medline, PsycINFO, ERIC, Scopus and Current Contents databases from the earliest available date to December 2008.
We included studies that used qualitative research methodology to explore the meaning and characteristics of mentoring in academic medicine. Two investigators independently assessed articles for relevance and study quality, and extracted data using standardized forms. No restrictions were placed on the language of articles.
A total of 8,487 citations were identified, 114 full text articles were assessed, and 9 articles were selected for review. All studies were conducted in North America, and most focused on the initiation and cultivation phases of the mentoring relationship. Mentoring was described as a complex relationship based on mutual interests, both professional and personal. Mentees should take an active role in the formation and development of mentoring relationships. Good mentors should be sincere in their dealings with mentees, be able to listen actively and understand mentees' needs, and have a well-established position within the academic community. Some of the mentoring functions aim at the mentees’ academic growth and others at personal growth. Barriers to mentoring and dysfunctional mentoring can be related to personal factors, relational difficulties and structural/institutional barriers.
Successful mentoring requires commitment and interpersonal skills of the mentor and mentee, but also a facilitating environment at academic medicine's institutions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1165-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
mentoring; academic medicine; systematic review; qualitative research
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.
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
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
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
To determine whether a structured mentoring curriculum improves research mentoring skills.
The authors conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) at 16 academic health centers (June 2010 to July 2011). Faculty mentors of trainees who were conducting clinical/translational research ≥50% of the time were eligible. The intervention was an eight-hour, case-based curriculum focused on six mentoring competencies. The primary outcome was the change in mentors’ self-reported pretest to posttest composite scores on the Mentoring Competency Assessment (MCA). Secondary outcomes included changes in the following: mentors’ awareness as measured by their self-reported retrospective change in MCA scores, mentees’ ratings of their mentors’ competency as measured by MCA scores, and mentoring behaviors as reported by mentors and their mentees.
A total of 283 mentor–mentee pairs were enrolled: 144 mentors were randomized to the intervention; 139 to the control condition. Self-reported pre-/posttest change in MCA composite scores was higher for mentors in the intervention group compared with controls (P < .001). Retrospective changes in MCA composite scores between the two groups were even greater, and extended to all six subscale scores (P < .001). More intervention-group mentors reported changes in their mentoring practices than control mentors (P < .001). Mentees working with intervention-group mentors reported larger changes in retrospective MCA pre-/posttest scores (P = .003) and more changes in their mentors’ behavior (P = .002) than those paired with control mentors.
This RCT demonstrates that a competency-based research mentor training program can improve mentors’ skills.
Purpose: Mentoring plays an important role in students' performance and career. The authors of this study assessed the need for mentoring among medical students and established a novel large-scale mentoring program at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich School of Medicine.
Methods: Needs assessment was conducted using a survey distributed to all students at the medical school (n=578 of 4,109 students, return rate 14.1%). In addition, the authors held focus groups with selected medical students (n=24) and faculty physicians (n=22). All students signing up for the individual mentoring completed a survey addressing their expectations (n=534).
Results: Needs assessment revealed that 83% of medical students expressed overall satisfaction with the teaching at LMU. In contrast, only 36.5% were satisfied with how the faculty supports their individual professional development and 86% of students voiced a desire for more personal and professional support. When asked to define the role of a mentor, 55.6% "very much" wanted their mentors to act as counselors, arrange contacts for them (36.4%), and provide ideas for professional development (28.1%). Topics that future mentees "very much" wished to discuss included research (56.6%), final year electives (55.8%) and experiences abroad (45.5%).
Conclusions: Based on the strong desire for mentoring among medical students, the authors developed a novel two-tiered system that introduces one-to-one mentoring for students in their clinical years and offers society-based peer mentoring for pre-clinical students. One year after launching the program, more than 300 clinical students had experienced one-to-one mentoring and 1,503 students and physicians were involved in peer mentoring societies.
medical students; mentoring; support; counseling
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.
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
There is a current and pressing need for recovery resources for individuals suffering from eating disorders. Mentoring programs have been useful with other psychiatric disorders such as addictions, and may be useful for individuals recovering from an eating disorder. The present study sought to examine a mentoring program for individuals working towards recovery from an eating disorder.
The study included mentors (i.e., individuals who have recovered from an eating disorder for an extended period of time), and mentees (i.e., individuals who were in the process of recovering from an eating disorder and wanting additional support aside from their treatment team). Participants included 141 participants, consisting of 34 mentors, 58 mentees who matched with a mentor, and 49 mentees searching for a mentor. Participants completed questions assessing eating disorder symptoms, quality of life, motivation towards recovery, and treatment compliance.
Matched mentees reported higher levels of quality of life on 7 out of 12 domains, and missed fewer appointments with treatment providers when compared to unmatched mentees. There were no differences between matched and unmatched mentees on motivation, energy or confidence towards recovery.
Findings suggest a mentor model is beneficial for individuals engaged in the process of recovering from an eating disorder in the areas of quality of life and treatment compliance. Specifically, mentees in a mentoring relationship reported better family and close relationships, future outlook, and psychological, emotional, and physical well-being than unmatched mentees. Mentors reported being positively impacted by the mentoring relationship by strengthening the skills they learned while in recovery, and reminding them of how far they had come in their own recovery. The findings in this study suggest that mentor programs warrant further investigation as ancillary support services for individuals recovering from an eating disorder.
Mentor program; Eating disorders; Quality of life; Treatment compliance
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
The Summer Institute Program to Increase Diversity (SIPID) in Health-Related Research is a career advancement opportunity sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Three mentored programs address difficulties experienced by junior investigators in establishing independent research careers and academic advancement. Aims are to increase the number of faculty from under-represented minority groups who successfully compete for external research funding.
Data were collected using a centralized data-entry system from three Summer Institutes. Outcomes include mentees’ satisfaction rating about the program, grant and publications productivity and specific comments.
Fifty-eight junior faculty mentees (38% male) noticeably improved their rates of preparing/submitting grant applications and publications, with a 18–23% increase in confidence levels in planning and conducting research. According to survey comments, the training received in grantsmanship skills and one-on-one mentoring were the most valuable program components.
The SIPID mentoring program was highly valued by the junior faculty mentees. The program will continue in 2011–2014 as PRIDE (PRogram to Increase Diversity among individuals Engaged in health-related research). Long-term follow-up of current mentees will be indexed at five years post training (2013). In summary, these mentoring programs hope to continue increasing the diversity of the next generation of scientists in biomedical research.
The first year is stressful for new medical students who have to cope with curricular challenges, relocation issues, and separation from family. Mentoring reduces stress and facilitates adaptation. A program for faculty mentoring of first-semester students was initiated by the Medical Education Unit in 2009 at University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi. Feedback after the first year revealed that mentees were reluctant to meet their mentors, some of whom were senior faculty. In the following year, student mentors (near-peers) were recruited to see if that would improve the rate and quality of contact between mentees and mentors.
Volunteer faculty (n=52), near-peers (n=57), and new entrants (n=148) admitted in 2010 participated in the ratio of 1:1:3. The program aims were explained through an open house meeting, for reinforcement, and another meeting was conducted 5 months later. At year-end, a feedback questionnaire was administered (response rate: faculty, 28 [54%]; mentees, 74 [50%]).
Many respondent faculty (27, 96%) and mentees (65, 88%) believed that near-peer mentoring was useful. Compared to the preceding year, the proportion of meetings between faculty mentors and mentees increased from 4.0±5.2 to 7.4±8.8; mentees who reported benefit increased from 23/78 (33%) to 34/74 (46%). Benefits resulted from mentors’ and near-peers’ demonstration of concern/support/interaction/counseling (35, 47.3% mentees); 23 mentees (82%) wanted to become near-peers themselves.
Near-peer mentoring supplements faculty mentoring of first-year medical students by increasing system effectiveness.
Counseling; Faculty; Medical education; Medical students; Mentors; Program development
An urgent need exists for graduate and professional schools to establish evidence-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) pipeline programs to increase the diversity of the biomedical workforce. An untapped yet promising pool of willing participants are capable high school students that have a strong STEM interest but may lack the skills and the guided mentoring needed to succeed in competitive STEM fields. This study evaluates and compares the impact of the Loma Linda University (LLU) Summer Health Disparities Research Program on high school (HS) and undergraduate (UG) student participants. The primary focus of our summer research experience (SRE) is to enhance the research self-efficacy of the participants by actively involving them in a research project and by providing the students with personalized mentoring and targeted career development activities, including education on health disparities. The results of our study show that our SRE influenced terminal degree intent and increased participant willingness to incorporate research into future careers for both the HS and the UG groups. The quantitative data shows that both the HS and the UG participants reported large, statistically significant gains in self-assessed research skills and research self-efficacy. Both participant groups identified the hands-on research and the mentor experience as the most valuable aspects of our SRE and reported increased science skills, increased confidence in science ability and increased motivation and affirmation to pursue a science career. The follow-up data indicates that 67% of the HS participants and 90% of the UG participants graduated from college with a STEM degree; for those who enrolled in graduate education, 61% and 43% enrolled in LLU, respectively. We conclude that structured SREs can be highly effective STEM strengthening interventions for both UG and HS students and may be a way to measurably increase institutional and biomedical workforce diversity.
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.
Mentoring is a key predictor of empowerment and prospectively a game changer in the quest to improve health inequities. This systematic review reports on the state of evidence on mentoring for Indigenous Australians by identifying the quantity, nature, quality and characteristics of mentoring publications.
Thirteen databases were searched using specific search strings from 1983 - 2012. Grey literature was also canvassed. The resultant publications were mined to identify their outputs, nature, and quality. These were then conceptually mined for their characteristics to develop a model of mentoring that included the initiating environments, facilitating environments, operational strategies and outcomes.
771 citations were identified; 37 full text publications met inclusion criteria and were assessed. Fifteen were eligible for review. Four of five original research publications used strong qualitative research designs. No publications were found before 1999; the largest proportion concentrated in 2011 (n = 4). Facilitating environments included: mapping participants’ socio-cultural and economic context; formal mentoring practices with internal flexibility; voluntary participation; integrated models with wrap-around services; mentor/staff competencies; and sustained funding. Mentoring strategies comprised: holistic scaffolding approaches; respectful, trusting, one-on-one mentoring relationships; knowledgeable mentors; regular contact; longer-term relationships and exit strategies; culturally-tailored programs; personal and social development opportunities; and specialised skills and learning opportunities. Outcomes varied in accordance to program aims and included improvements in aspects of education and employment, offending behaviours, relationships, and personal, social and professional development.
Little research explored the effectiveness of mentoring, captured its impact qualitatively or quantitatively, developed appropriate measures or assessed its cost-effectiveness. There is a real need to evaluate programs particularly in terms of outcomes and, given there were no economic evaluations, costs. Commitments to improving Indigenous Australian mentoring rely on changes to funding structures and attitudes toward research. There was insufficient evidence to confidently prescribe a best practice model. Sufficient frequency of qualitative reporting between publications concluded that mentoring is a valuable empowerment strategy in the areas of health and wellbeing, education and employment and as a remedial and preventative measure in reducing offending behaviours. An evidence-informed mentoring model would take into account the key findings of the review.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; Evidence; Indigenous Australians; Mentoring; Social determinants of health; Systematic review
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.
To determine the characteristics associated with having a mentor, the association of mentoring with self-efficacy, and the content of mentor–mentee interactions at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), we conducted a baseline assessment prior to implementing a comprehensive faculty mentoring program.
We surveyed all prospective junior faculty mentees at UCSF. Mentees completed a web-based, 38-item survey including an assessment of self-efficacy and a needs assessment. We used descriptive and inferential statistics to determine the association between having a mentor and gender, ethnicity, faculty series, and self-efficacy.
Our respondents (n=464, 56%) were 53% female, 62% white, and 7% from underrepresented minority groups. More than half of respondents (n=319) reported having a mentor. There were no differences in having a mentor based on gender or ethnicity (p≥0.05). Clinician educator faculty with more teaching and patient care responsibilities were statistically significantly less likely to have a mentor compared with faculty in research intensive series (p<0.001). Having a mentor was associated with greater satisfaction with time allocation at work (p<0.05) and with higher academic self-efficacy scores, 6.07 (sd = 1.36) compared with those without a mentor, 5.33 (sd = 1.35, p<0.001). Mentees reported that they most often discussed funding with the mentors, but rated highest requiring mentoring assistance with issues of promotion and tenure.
Findings from the UCSF faculty mentoring program may assist other health science institutions plan similar programs. Mentoring needs for junior faculty with greater teaching and patient care responsibilities must be addressed.
mentoring; faculty development; program evaluation; self-efficacy
Mentoring is associated with positive professional and personal outcomes. However, there are few published data on mentoring programs for pharmacists.
To develop and evaluate a mentorship program for hospital pharmacists that was implemented at St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, in Hamilton, Ontario, by identifying the benefits and challenges that participants experienced and determining whether the program provided the necessary skills for a successful mentoring relationship.
A descriptive pilot study was performed between June 2007 and November 2008. Focus groups and self-administered questionnaires were conducted at two time points (after 3–4 months and at the end of the study period). The focus groups were conducted separately for mentors and mentees. Data were summarized by predefined categories. Quantitative data from the questionnaires were summarized as medians, minimums, and maximums, and qualitative survey data were transcribed and reviewed.
Three mentors were each paired with a mentee. The mentees identified an average of 4 learning objectives. All of the mentees reported improvements in their self-perceived level of competency and skill within the mentoring relationship and their confidence in their ability to perform the functions of a hospital pharmacist. The job satisfaction of both mentors and mentees improved. Reported challenges were related to scheduling and documentation. Mentors and mentees reported high levels of overall satisfaction with the program, at both of the evaluation time points. Participants spent less than 60 min/week each on mentoring activities.
Both mentors and mentees benefited from the mentoring relationship.
mentoring; professional development; job satisfaction; professional relationship; mentorat; perfectionnement professionnel; satisfaction au travail; relation professionnelle
Background and purposes
The education and training of early career biomedical translational researchers often involves formal mentoring by more experienced colleagues. This study investigated the nature of these mentoring relationships from the perspective of mentees. The objective was to understand the challenges and issues encountered by mentees in forming and maintaining productive mentoring relationships.
Three focus groups (n=14) were conducted with early career researchers who had mentored career development awards. Thematic analysis identified, categorized, and illustrated the challenges and issues reported by mentees.
The range of mentee challenges was reflected in five major categories: 1) network—finding appropriate mentors to meet various needs; 2) access—structuring schedules and opportunities to receive mentoring; 3) expectations—negotiating the mechanics of the mentoring relationship and its purpose; 4) alignment—managing mentor-mentee mismatches regarding interests, priorities, and goals; and 5) skills and supports—developing the institutional supports to be successful.
Mentoring relationships created for academic training and career development contend with tasks common to many other relationships, namely recognizing compatibility, finding time, establishing patterns, agreeing to goals, and achieving aims. Identifying challenges faced by mentees can facilitate the development of appropriate trainings and supports to foster mentoring relationships in academic and career settings.
MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS; MENTEE PERSPECTIVES; RESEARCH TRAINING; CAREER DEVELOPMENT
To examine the feasibility and potential benefits of early peer support to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with early inflammatory arthritis (EIA).
Feasibility study using the 2008 Medical Research Council framework as a theoretical basis. A literature review, environmental scan, and interviews with patients, families and healthcare providers guided the development of peer mentor training sessions and a peer-to-peer mentoring programme. Peer mentors were trained and paired with a mentee to receive (face-to-face or telephone) support over 12 weeks.
Two academic teaching hospitals in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Nine pairs consisting of one peer mentor and one mentee were matched based on factors such as age and work status.
Primary outcome measure
Mentee outcomes of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)/biological treatment use, self-efficacy, self-management, health-related quality of life, anxiety, coping efficacy, social support and disease activity were measured using validated tools. Descriptive statistics and effect sizes were calculated to determine clinically important (>0.3) changes. Peer mentor self-efficacy was assessed using a self-efficacy scale. Interviews conducted with participants examined acceptability and feasibility of procedures and outcome measures, as well as perspectives on the value of peer support for individuals with EIA. Themes were identified through constant comparison.
Mentees experienced improvements in the overall arthritis impact on life, coping efficacy and social support (effect size >0.3). Mentees also perceived emotional, informational, appraisal and instrumental support. Mentors also reported benefits and learnt from mentees’ fortitude and self-management skills. The training was well received by mentors. Their self-efficacy increased significantly after training completion. Participants’ experience of peer support was informed by the unique relationship with their peer. All participants were unequivocal about the need for peer support for individuals with EIA.
The intervention was well received. Training, peer support programme and outcome measures were demonstrated to be feasible with modifications. Early peer support may augment current rheumatological care.
Trial registration number
Arthritis; Early Inflammatory Arthritis; Health Services Research; Rheumatoid Arthritis