Given the predicted shortages of dental faculty in the United States, it is important to retain faculty members. Mentoring could play a crucial role in this context. The objectives of this case study were to explore how a six-year mentoring program in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry changed faculty members' perceptions of support from colleagues and their mentoring expectations. In addition, we sought to determine how junior versus senior faculty members and mentors versus mentees differed in their perceptions of faculty roles, their self-perceived competence, and their awareness of departmental expectations at the end of the program. Data were collected with self-administered surveys from twenty-five of the thirty-six faculty members in this department in 2002 (response rate: 69 percent) and from thirty-seven of the fifty-four faculty members in 2008 (response rate: 69 percent). The results showed that the perceptions of support from colleagues improved significantly over the six-year period. During the same time period, mentoring expectations increased. In 2008, junior faculty members as compared to senior faculty members remained less positive about their role as faculty members, felt less well prepared for their professional life, and were less aware of departmental expectations. In conclusion, a departmental mentoring program resulted in improved support from colleagues and increased expectations concerning mentoring experiences. However, future targeted interventions are needed to address the identified differences between junior and senior faculty members. Recommendations for faculty mentoring efforts are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago has reorganized its predoctoral curriculum to better integrate biomedical, clinical, and behavioral sciences using a systems-based framework. The resulting D.M.D. curriculum features small-group discussions of patient scenarios that include orofacial, systemic, and professionalism learning objectives. Small-group learning is closely coordinated with laboratory, pre-patient care, and patient care experiences. Accordingly, the college has also reorganized its faculty roles to eliminate discipline-based silos and to better ensure program coherence. The new organizational structure is designed to improve coordination among faculty course teams that develop and administer individual courses, several units that provide curriculum resources and support services, and the curriculum committee, which is charged with governance of the curriculum as a whole. In addition, the new structure employs a system of reporting and planning relationships to ensure continuous monitoring and improvement of the curriculum. This article describes six principles that guide the new faculty roles structure, defines the various faculty roles and their coordinating relationships, presents diagrams depicting the organizational structures for curriculum governance, administration, and support, and discusses mechanisms for faculty support and continuous curriculum improvement.
Journal of dental education 01/2013; 77(1):4-16. · 0.97 Impact Factor
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