"Having the right chemistry": A qualitative study of mentoring in academic medicine

Department of Medicine, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Academic Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.93). 04/2003; 78(3):328-34.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To develop a deeper understanding of mentoring by exploring lived experiences of academic medicine faculty members. Mentoring relationships are key to developing productive careers in academic medicine, but such alliances hold a certain "mystery."
Using qualitative techniques, between November 1999 and March 2000, the authors conducted individual telephone interviews of 16 faculty members about their experiences with mentoring. Interviews were taped and transcribed and authors identified major themes through multiple readings. A consensus taxonomy for classifying content evolved from comparisons of coding by four reviewers. Themes expressed by participants were studied for patterns of connection and grouped into broader categories.
Almost 98% of participants identified lack of mentoring as the first (42%) or second (56%) most important factor hindering career progress in academic medicine. Finding a suitable mentor requires effort and persistence. Effective mentoring necessitates a certain chemistry for an appropriate interpersonal match. Prized mentors have "clout," knowledge, and interest in the mentees, and provide both professional and personal support. In cross-gender mentoring, maintaining clear boundaries is essential for an effective relationship. Same-gender or same-race matches between mentor and mentee were not felt to be essential.
Having a mentor is critical to having a successful career in academic medicine. Mentees need to be diligent in seeking out these relationships and institutions need to encourage and value the work of mentors. Participants without formalized mentoring relationships should look to peers and colleagues for assistance in navigating the academic system.

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    • "With multifaceted academic responsibilities, faculty may easily feel pulled in many directions and become discouraged. Earlier research indicated that a major aspect of advocacy is for mentors to attend to psychosocial undertakings [9, 41, 42]. Aagaard and Hauer [41] studied activities of physician mentors; 98% of mentors identified motivating protégés as one of the top activities, followed by 91% providing moral support. "
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    05/2012; 2012:937906. DOI:10.1155/2012/937906
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    • "In one systematic review of mentoring in academic medicine, this perception was supported—although rigorous, cross-discipline, well-designed studies were felt to be lacking (Sambunjak et al., 2006). Nonetheless, having a mentor has been consistently linked to career progress in academic medicine (Jackson et al., 2003). The importance of purposeful and planned mentoring is, in fact, recognized by the NIH because mentoring of postdoctoral trainees is expected by senior faculty, is recognized as grant-related "
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    ABSTRACT: In many ways, we are living and working in an unprecedented time in academic medicine. New technologies, scientific discovery, unparalleled availability of medical information and knowledge are currently paired with increasing (albeit slow) gender, cultural, and now generational diversity of the faculty. To prepare the next generation, we must simultaneously be the student and the teacher. As the student, our charge is to understand the current medical and academic environs and recognize the attributes, experiences, and expectations that each generational cohort brings to medicine. As the teacher, we must identify, extract, and communicate the tenets that remain constants for success in academic medicine today and reject those that are no longer relevant. Throughout the years, the basic motivation that drives success has remained constant while the individuals (the players), the environment, and the definition of success in academics have become more varied.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 03/2012; 132(3 Pt 2):1018-25. DOI:10.1038/jid.2011.407 · 7.22 Impact Factor
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    • "Mentoring can have an important effect on research productivity, including publication and grant success [6]. Lack of mentoring has been cited as the first or second most important factor hindering faculty career progress in academic medicine [7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction. Mentoring relationships have been shown to support academicians in areas of research, work/life balance, and promotion. Methods. General pediatric division chiefs accessed an electronic survey asking about mentorship relationships, their ability to create a mentorship program, and resources needed. Results. Dyadic mentorship programs were available at 53% of divisions. Peer mentorship programs were available at 27% of divisions. Overall, 84% of chiefs believed that dyadic mentorship would benefit their faculty. 91% of chiefs believed that peer mentorship would benefit their faculty. Chiefs were interested in starting peer (57%) or dyadic (55%) mentorship programs. Few divisions had a peer mentorship program available, whereas 24% already had a dyadic program. 43% of chiefs felt that they had the tools to start a program. Many tools are needed to create a program. Discussion. General pediatric division chiefs acknowledge the benefits of mentoring relationships, and some have programs in place. Many need tools to create them. Pediatric societies could facilitate this critical area of professional development.
    International Journal of Pediatrics 11/2011; 2011(4):538616. DOI:10.1155/2011/538616
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