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1.  Identifying and Aligning Expectations in a Mentoring Relationship 
The mentoring relationship between a scholar and their primary mentor is a core feature of research training. Anecdotal evidence suggests this relationship is adversely affected when scholar and mentor expectations are not aligned. We examined three questions: (1) What is the value in assuring that the expectations of scholars and mentors are mutually identified and aligned? (2) What types of programmatic interventions facilitate this process? (3) What types of expectations are important to identify and align? We addressed these questions through a systematic literature review, focus group interviews of mentors and scholars, a survey of Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) KL2 program directors, and review of formal programmatic mechanisms used by KL2 programs. We found broad support for the importance of identifying and aligning the expectations of scholars and mentors and evidence that mentoring contracts, agreements, and training programs facilitate this process. These tools focus on aligning expectations with respect to the scholar’s research, education, professional development and career advancement as well as support, communication, and personal conduct and interpersonal relations. Research is needed to assess test the efficacy of formal alignment activities.
PMCID: PMC3476480  PMID: 22212226
mentors; mentoring; career development; faculty development; staff development
2.  Efficacy of Peer-Assisted Learning Across Residencies for Procedural Training in Dermatology 
With new care models such as the medical home, there is an expanding need for primary care providers to be trained in dermatologic procedures. Yet, many internal medicine residency program graduates feel unprepared to perform these procedures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a structured peer-assisted learning approach to improve residents' knowledge and skills related to common dermatologic assessment techniques.
Eight medicine-dermatology resident educators, with a faculty member, facilitated dermatologic procedure workshops for 28 internal medicine and medicine-pediatrics resident learners. Learners completed preworkshop and postworkshop surveys, assessing their knowledge and skill levels as well as the efficacy of the resident educators and the educational value of the workshop as a whole.
All learners were able to properly demonstrate the techniques at the workshop's conclusion. The median sum score of self-reported knowledge increased from 3 to 9.5 (scale, 0–10; P < .001). The median sum score of self-reported skills increased from 10 to 16 (scale, 4–20; P < .001). Resident educators were favorably evaluated by their peers, and 96% of participants rated the experience as being of high educational value.
Peer-assisted learning is effective in teaching dermatologic procedures in graduate medical education. Resident learners found peer-assisted learning to be beneficial and rated their peer teachers highly. Further studies should focus on outcomes in practice, looking at the number of dermatologic procedures performed by learners, as well as the effects on resident educators.
PMCID: PMC3179213  PMID: 22942970

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