There is limited information on how academic institutions support effective mentoring practices for new investigators. A national semi-structured telephone interview was conducted to assess current “state of the art” mentoring practices for KL2 scholars among the 46 institutions participating in the Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium. Mentoring practices examined included: mentor selection, articulating and aligning expectations, assessing the mentoring relationship, and mentor training. Telephone interviews were conducted in winter/fall 2009, with 100% of the CTSAs funded (n = 46) through 2009, participating in the survey. Primary findings include: five programs selected mentors for K scholars, 14 programs used mentor contracts to define expectations, 16 programs reported formal mentor evaluation, 10 offered financial incentives to mentors, and 13 offered formal mentoring training. The interviews found considerable variation in mentoring practices for training new investigators among the 46 CTSAs. There was also limited consensus on “what works” and what are the core elements of “effective mentoring practices. Empirical research is needed to help research leaders decide on where and how to place resources related to mentoring.
mentoring; training; clinical and translational research
Mentoring is an important element in the training of new investigators, particularly for KL2, K12, K08, and K23 funded scholars who are often physicians or other clinicians with limited prior research experience. Matching K scholars with appropriate mentors who have the mentoring skills and available time is an ongoing challenge for most universities. The goal of this paper is to present a variety of strategies used to select mentors for K awardees. The information presented in this special communication is derived from the literature, a national survey of CTSA leaders, as well as K scholar and K mentor focus groups.
Some of the mentor selection methods discussed in this paper include a) having the scholar find a mentor as part of the application process for the award, b) selecting mentors post award, c) expecting the chair of the department to identify a mentor(s), d) using a committee to match the scholar and a mentor based on a pool of approved mentors e) selecting additional mentors as the scholar’s research program develops. The paper concludes that mentor selection requires an ongoing programmatic approach with the active participation of K scholars, CTSA program leaders, center directors, research deans and chairs.
research mentor selection
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
The goal of this paper is to review the evaluation of mentors with a focus on training new investigators in clinical translational science. These scholars include physicians and PhD scientists who are generally assistant professors in clinical departments. This white paper is one of a series of articles focused on the programmatic elements of effective mentoring practices and the “current state of the art”. Evaluating mentor performance and providing formative feedback can lead to stronger mentoring and ultimately lead to increased success of new clinical and translational investigators. While there is general agreement that mentor evaluation can be helpful, the process is difficult. Trainees are reluctant to share negative experiences and to rate their mentors. Mentors are not sure they want to be evaluated. Program leaders are not sure how to effectively use the information. This white paper provides mentees, mentors and program leaders with new perspectives on mentor evaluation and ideas for future research.
evaluation; translational science; research training
Objective. To describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of a formal mentorship program at a college of pharmacy.
Methods. After extensive review of the mentorship literature within the health sciences, a formal mentorship program was developed between 2006 and 2008 to support and facilitate faculty development. The voluntary program was implemented after mentors received training, and mentors and protégés were matched and received an orientation. Evaluation consisted of conducting annual surveys and focus groups with mentors and protégés.
Results. Fifty-one mentor-protégé pairs were formed from 2009 to 2012. A large majority of the mentors (82.8%-96.9%) were satisfied with the mentorship program and its procedures. The majority of the protégés (≥70%) were satisfied with the mentorship program, mentor-protégé relationship, and program logistics. Both mentors and protégés reported that the protégés most needed guidance on time management, prioritization, and work-life balance. While there were no significant improvements in the proteges’ number of grant submissions, retention rates, or success in promotion/tenure, the total number of peer-reviewed publications by junior faculty members was significantly higher after program implementation (mean of 7 per year vs 21 per year, p=0.03) in the college’s pharmacy practice and administration department.
Conclusions. A formal mentorship program was successful as measured by self-reported assessments of mentors and protégés.
mentorship; mentor; protégé; pharmacy; faculty
Although the importance of research mentorship has been well established, the role of mentors of junior clinical and translational science investigators is not clearly defined. The authors attempt to derive a list of actionable competencies for mentors from a series of complementary methods. We examined focus groups, the literature, competencies derived for clinical and translational scholars, mentor training curricula, mentor evaluation forms and finally conducted an expert panel process in order to compose this list. These efforts resulted in a set of competencies that include generic competencies expected of all mentors, competencies specific to scientists, and competencies that are clinical and translational research specific. They are divided into six thematic areas: (1) Communication and managing the relationship, (2) Psychosocial support, (3) Career and professional development, (4) Professional enculturation and scientific integrity, (5) Research development, and (6) Clinical and translational investigator development. For each thematic area, we have listed associated competencies, 19 in total. For each competency, we list examples that are actionable and measurable. Although a comprehensive approach was used to derive this list of competencies, further work will be required to parse out how to apply and adapt them, as well future research directions and evaluation processes.
mentoring; mentor; competencies; translational
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.
The goal of this paper is to present strategies utilized to support K scholar research mentors. K scholars are generally assistant professors who are close to developing independent research programs. Of all the various types of mentees, K scholars offer the greatest challenges, as well as the greatest rewards, for research mentors. To see one's mentee achieve independent PI status and become an established investigator is one of the great joys of being a research mentor. Research mentors for K scholars, however, may not directly benefit from their mentoring relationship, neither in terms of obtaining data to support their research program or laboratory, nor in assistance with grants or scientific papers. There is a pressing need for the research community to address the workload, institutional expectations and reward system for research mentors. The dearth of research mentors and role models in clinical translational science parallels the decreasing number of physicians choosing careers in clinical research. While there is limited empirical information on the effectiveness of mentor support mechanisms, this white paper concludes that providing mentor support is critical to expanding the available pool of mentors, as well as providing training opportunities for K scholars.
translational research; salary; protected time; resources
This study explores the role of informal mentoring (i.e., developing an important relationship with a non-parental adult) in the transition to full time employment among young adults (age 23-28). Multivariate analysis of the Add Health data reveals that mentoring is positively related to the likelihood of full time employment, and the relationship involves both selection and causation processes. Entrance into the world of work facilitates the development of mentoring relationships, especially among youth who identify work-related mentors after adolescence. These relationships have the potential for promoting attachment to the labor force. Mentoring relationships that develop outside of work settings and during adolescence have a positive impact on the odds of full time employment. The receipt of guidance and advice from mentors, as well as access to weak-tied mentoring relationships, teacher mentors, and friend mentors all contribute to the increased odds of employment in young adulthood. However, adolescent mentoring may be less effective among young women than it is among young men.
mentoring; employment; adolescent
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 during the early stages of a career has been associated with high career satisfaction and may guide development of professional expertise. Little is known about mentoring experiences during residency training. Our purpose was to describe mentoring relationships among internal medicine residents, and to examine the relationship between mentoring and perceived career preparation.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
We designed and administered a mailed survey to all interns and residents enrolled in the five independent Internal Medicine Residency Training Programs affiliated with Harvard Medical School. We examined the development of mentoring relationships during residency training, and measured satisfaction with mentoring and with perceived career preparation.
Of the 329 respondents (65% response rate), 93% reported that it is important to have a mentor during residency, but only half identified a current or past mentor. Interns [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.2, 0.5)] and underrepresented minority residents [0.3 (0.1, 0.7)] were significantly less likely to establish a mentoring relationship than their peers. Mentored residents were nearly twice as likely to describe excellent career preparation [1.8 (1.1, 3.1)].
Our findings demonstrate the importance of mentoring to medical residents, and identify a relationship between mentoring and perceived career preparation. We also identify a relative lack of mentoring among interns and underrepresented minority residents.
mentoring; graduate medical education; faculty development
Mentoring plays an important role in learning and career development. Mentored researchers are more productive and more likely to publish their work. However, mentorship programs are not universally used in most settings or disciplines. Furthermore, successful and mutually beneficial mentoring relationships are not always easy to arrange. Long-distance mentoring relationships are even more difficult to handle and may break down for a wide variety of reasons. Drawing from our experiences with the first Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Canadian HIV Trials Network international postdoctoral fellowship program, we describe the roles of the context, the key mentor and the mentee attributes; goals and expectations; environments, local support, a communication plan, funding, face-to-face contact, multidisciplinary collaboration, co-mentoring, and evaluation as they apply to the successful implementation of a long-distance mentoring program.
long distance; mentoring; framework; Canada; Cameroon
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.
Mentoring is important for the recruitment and retention of qualified nurse faculty, their ongoing career development, and leadership development. However, what are current best practices of mentoring? The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of a model for excellence in establishing a formal mentoring program for academic nurse educators. Six themes for establishing a formal mentoring program are presented, highlighting best practices in mentoring as culled from experience and the literature. Themes reflect aims to achieve appropriately matched dyads, establish clear mentorship purpose and goals, solidify the dyad relationship, advocate for and guide the protégé, integrate the protégé into the academic culture, and mobilize institutional resources for mentoring support. Attending to the six themes will help mentors achieve important protégé outcomes, such as orientation to the educator role, integration into the academic community, development of teaching, scholarship, and service skills, as well as leadership development. The model is intended to be generalizable for faculty teaching in a variety of academic nursing institution types and sizes. Mentoring that integrates the six themes assists faculty members to better navigate the academic environment and more easily transition to new roles and responsibilities.
Mentors play important roles in training new investigators. This study was designed to determine characteristics of NIH mentored K award recipients and their mentors, their interpersonal interactions, and the factors, which influence satisfaction within this relationship.
A survey of 3027 NIH mentored K recipients and 1384 mentors was conducted in 2009. Nine hundred twenty-nine (30.7%) of the K recipients and 448 (32.4%) mentors completed the survey.
The gender of K respondents was evenly divided while the mentors were 72.1% male. The overall rating of their mentors was positive. Ideally, both thought the mentor should be important in research training; however, in actual practice, both rated the importance as lower. A total of 88.2% of recipients were satisfied with their relationship. Although the number of black K recipients was low, this group was more likely to be dissatisfied with the mentor relationship (6/29 or 20.7%) than their white counterparts. The frequency of meeting or communicating was correlated with K recipient satisfaction.
Overall K recipients are satisfied with their mentor relationships. Although the number of black K recipient respondents was small, the higher level of mentor dissatisfaction should be further evaluated. Qualities of mentors, including the frequency of interactions and accessibility, can influence satisfaction.
Ethics; Translational research; Trials; Mentor
Scholars have identified the presence of natural mentoring relationships (NMRs) as one of a set of protective factors that promote and protect the health and well-being of “at-risk” and marginalized youth. While this work has informed our understanding of the importance of NMRs for supporting youth and promoting positive development, it has only just begun to extend its inquiry focus onto the lives of same-sex attracted (SSA) youth (e.g., gay and bisexual youth). Thirty-nine in-depth interviews with self-identified gay, bisexual, and questioning (GBQ) male youth (ages 15 – 22) were qualitatively analyzed for the presence, form, and function of NMRs. Results from this inquiry revealed that participants identified a diverse range of “natural mentors” and that the provision of social support was of thematic prominence in these relationships. Results from this effort are here presented. Clinical and programming implications, as well as directions for future work are discussed.
natural mentoring; social support; gay; adolescents
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.
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.
Residency program directors rely on an informal network of faculty mentors to provide guidance for residents. Faced with increasingly sophisticated competency-based evaluation systems and scrutiny of patient safety and resident well-being in today's environment, residency programs need more structured mechanisms for mentoring.
To clarify the role of resident advisors and mentors so that residents receive the right combination of direction and oversight to ensure their successful transition to the next phase of their careers.
The Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program undertook a formal assessment of the roles, responsibilities, and resource needs of its key faculty through a focus group made up of key faculty. A follow-up focus group of residents and chief residents was held to validate the results of the faculty group assessment.
The distinction between advising and mentoring was our important discovery and is supported by literature that identifies that mentors and advisors differ in multiple ways. A mentor is often selected to match resources and expertise with a resident's needs or professional interests. An advisor is assigned with a role to counsel and guide the resident through the residency processes, procedures, and key learning milestones.
The difference between the role of advisor and that of mentor is of critical importance and allowed for the evolution of faculty participants' role as resident advisors, including the formulation of expectations for advisors, and the creation of an advisor toolkit. Our modifiable toolkit can enhance the advising process for residents in many disciplines. We saw an improvement in resident satisfaction from 2006 to 2009.
Mentoring is routinely used as a tool to facilitate acquisition of skills by new professionals in fields like medicine, nursing, surgery, and business. While mentoring has been proposed as an effective strategy for knowledge and skills transfer in biostatistics and related fields, there is still much to be done to facilitate adoption by stakeholders, including academia and employers of biostatisticians. This is especially troubling given that biostatisticians play a key role in the success or otherwise of clinical research conducted for evidence-based decisions. In this paper, we offer suggestions on how mentoring can be applied in practice to advance the statistical training of future biostatisticians. In particular, we propose steps that academic statistics departments, professional statistical societies, and statistics organizations can take to advance the mentoring of young biostatisticians. Our suggestions also cover what mentors and mentees can do to facilitate a successful mentoring relationship.
mentoring; biostatistics; career development
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.
To document the frequency of policies and activities in support of mentoring practices at institutions receiving a U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).
The study consisted of a 69-item survey with questions about the inclusion (formal or informal) of policies, programs/activities and structures supporting mentoring within CTSA-sponsored research (i.e., KL2 programs) and, more broadly, in the CTSA’s home institution. The survey, conducted from November 2010 through January 2011, was sent to the 55 institutions awarded a CTSA at the time of the survey. Follow-up phone interviews were conducted to clarify responses as needed.
Fifty-one of 55 (92%) institutions completed the survey for institutional programs and 53 of 55 (96%) for KL2 programs. Responses regarding policies and activities involving mentor criteria, mentor–mentee relationship, incentives, and evaluative mechanisms revealed considerable variability between KL2 and institutional programs in some areas, such as having mentor qualification criteria and processes to evaluate mentors The survey also identified areas, such as training and women and minority mentoring programs, where there was frequent sharing of activities between the institutional and KL2 programs.
KL2 programs and institutional programs tend to have different preferences for policies versus activities to optimize qualification of mentors, the mentor–mentee relationship, incentives and evaluation mechanisms. Frequently, these elements are informal. Individuals in charge of implementing and maintaining mentoring initiatives can use the results of the study to consider their current mentoring policies, structures, and activities by comparing them to national patterns within CTSA institutions.
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
Mentoring is critical for career advancement in academic medicine. However, underrepresented minority (URM) faculty often receive less mentoring than their nonminority peers. The authors conducted a comprehensive review of published mentoring programs designed for URM faculty to identify “promising practices.”
Databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, ERIC, PsychLit, Google Scholar, Dissertations Abstracts International, CINHAL, Sociological Abstracts) were searched for articles describing URM faculty mentoring programs. The RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) formed the model for analyzing programs.
The search identified 73 citations. Abstract reviews led to retrieval of 38 full-text articles for assessment; 18 articles describing 13 programs were selected for review. The reach of these programs ranged from 7 to 128 participants. Most evaluated programs on the basis of the number of grant applications and manuscripts produced or satisfaction with program content. Programs offered a variety of training experiences, and adoption was relatively high, with minor changes made for implementing the intended content. Barriers included time-restricted funding, inadequate evaluation due to few participants, significant time commitments required from mentors, and difficulty in addressing institutional challenges faced by URM faculty. Program sustainability was a concern because programs were supported through external funds, with minimal institutional support.
Mentoring is an important part of academic medicine, particularly for URM faculty who often experience unique career challenges. Despite this need, relatively few publications exist to document mentoring programs for this population. Institutionally supported mentoring programs for URM faculty are needed, along with detailed plans for program sustainability.
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