In Choosing a Research Health Career, Mentoring is Essential

Division of Lung Diseases, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Two Rockledge Center, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7952, USA.
Beiträge zur Klinik der Tuberkulose (Impact Factor: 2.27). 02/2008; 186(1):1-6. DOI: 10.1007/s00408-007-9050-x
Source: PubMed


An academic career in medical research can be wonderfully rewarding if the new biologic and health knowledge one discovers is later translated into the design of better health care strategies or clinical therapy. With so many new investigative methods available, this seems to be an opportune time to enter the research field. However, the seemingly limitless possibilities for discovery might not be realized if an ample new investigator work force is not maintained. Preparing and training young investigators are included in the primary mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH),which is to support and facilitate scientific research. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is very involved in research training, as are the professional pulmonary societies, patient disease-related organizations, and pharmaceutical companies who support this partnership. This perspective will review ways, young students initially may become interested in science and perhaps medicine through the help of mentors, and exposure to early research opportunities that allow them to experience the excitement of science. Then, later career development strategies will be presented that might further the interest of undergraduate and young health professionals to pursue medical research. As creative and spirited mentoring efforts are often very important in career selection, current approaches need to be critiqued for improvement.

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    • ""Everyone who makes it has a mentor." [1] There is increasing evidence that mentoring is a key element for a successful career in academic medicine [2], [3], [4], [5] Despite methodological limitations in measuring its effectiveness [6], mentoring has been found to be essential for supporting and facilitating a trainee’s education, acquisition of clinical and research skills, and career development [4], [5], [7]. Mentoring and professional networking were identified as key characteristics of junior physicians in academic medicine as compared to their non-academic peers [8], [9].Lack of mentoring was identified as one of the most important factors hindering career success in academic medicine [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    GMS Zeitschrift fü medizinische Ausbildung 05/2011; 28(2):Doc26. DOI:10.3205/zma000738
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    ABSTRACT: The polarization properties of a class of infrared sources which have apparent 9.7 micron silicate absorption features were investigated using a 10 micron polarimeter. Detailed observations of the Becklin-Neugebauer source (BN), indicate that the linear polarization is produced by absorption in partially aligned, elongate particles. Comparisons of the observations with model calculations demonstrates that the 9.7 micron volume absorption coefficient of the silicate material BN is at least a factor of two smaller than laboratory values of terrestrial silicates. The characteristic size of the particles is much less than 10 microns and the index of refraction has a very small imaginary part near 10 microns. Observations of six other sources imply that the degree of grain alignment around BN is high in comparison to other spectroscopically similar objects.
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