“A Good Career Choice for Women”

Dr. Levine is associate professor of medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Mechaber is associate professor of medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida. Dr. Reddy is associate professor of medicine, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Cayea is assistant professor of medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Harrison is associate professor of medicine, Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon.
Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges (Impact Factor: 2.93). 02/2013; 88(4). DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828578bb
Source: PubMed


PURPOSE: The career decisions, practice patterns, and approach to patient care of current female students, who make up close to 50% of medical school classes, will have a profound impact on the profession. This study explores the role gender plays in the mentoring experiences of female medical students. METHOD: In 2011, the authors conducted focus groups with 48 third- and fourth-year female medical students at four U.S. medical schools. Using a template organizing style, they derived themes in an iterative process to explore female medical students' mentoring relationships and the impact of gender on those relationships. RESULTS: The authors identified four major themes: (1) Optimal mentoring relationships are highly relational. Students emphasized shared values, trust, and a personal connection in describing ideal mentoring relationships. (2) Relational mentoring is more important than gender concordance. Students identified a desire for access to female mentors but stated that when a mentor and mentee developed a personal connection, the gender of the mentor was less important. (3) Gender-based assumptions and stereotypes affect mentoring relationships. Students described gender-based assumptions and expectations for themselves and their mentors. (4) Gender-based power dynamics influence students' thinking about mentoring. Students stated that they were concerned about how their mentors might perceive their professional decisions because of their gender, which influenced what they disclosed to male mentors and mentors in positions of power. CONCLUSIONS: Gender appears to play a role in female medical students' expectations and experience with mentoring relationships and may influence their decision making around career planning.

1 Follower
31 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Most male professionals have more experience mentoring men than they do mentoring women, and their male mentees progress further than their female mentees. Yet, in academic medicine, men have few forums in which to discuss the gender-related issues that they encounter. To address the gender-related questions that commonly arise, the author of this commentary offers perspectives and recommendations, consolidated from over 25 years of experience leading career and talent development programs, to assist men in successfully mentoring women. Her recommendations are organized around three questions: (1) How do women's and men's experiences in mentoring relationships tend to differ? (2) What interferes with the accurate evaluation of women's skills? and (3) Is the current generation of female trainees still at a gender-related disadvantage? She argues that men's ability to effectively mentor women depends to a great extent on their understanding of the challenges that women disproportionately face in developing their careers. Mentors who are skilled in adapting to the gender-related needs of mentees will contribute to women's retention and development in academic medicine, enhance the leadership capacity of their organizations and the profession, and extend their own legacies.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this paper, the design and implementation of an institutional mentoring program for undergraduate medical students at the Medical University of Vienna are presented. Faculty members act as senior mentors in a small group setting enabling also peer mentoring (73.6 % of mentees reporting a direct benefit from their co-mentees). Program acceptance by mentees and mentors is very high (71.7 % of the mentees and 77.1 % of the mentors giving the highest out of four rating categories). The adequacy of this program was studied by analyzing the topics discussed in the mentoring groups: the most frequently covered aspects are diploma thesis, clinical clerkship, studying abroad and career planning. Additionally, sex-specific distributions of mentor recruitment and selection as well as participation by students were documented (e.g., female proportion of 29.9 % and 53.2 % of mentors and mentees, respectively). Both feedback and content analysis demonstrate the success of this large-scale project.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To construct a new measure to assess students' perceptions of the medical school learning environment (LE). In 2012, students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine completed a survey containing 32 LE items. Additional questions asked about overall perception of the LE, personal growth, and recommending the school to a friend. Validity evidence for content, response process, internal structure, and relation to other variables was collected for interpretation of scores. Of 465 students surveyed, 377 (81%) completed all LE items. Exploratory factor analysis yielded the 28-item Johns Hopkins Learning Environment Scale (JHLES) with seven factors/subscales: community of peers, faculty relationships, academic climate, meaningful engagement, mentoring, inclusion and safety, and physical space. Students' overall JHLES scores ranged from 51 to 139, of a possible 28 to 140, with a mean (SD) of 107 (15). Overall scores and most subscale scores did not differ significantly by gender or racial/ethnic background, but did differ significantly by overall perception of the LE (P ≤ .001) and increased incrementally as overall perception improved. Overall JHLES scores were significantly higher for students with higher personal growth scores and students who would recommend the school (both P < .001). Subscale scores for all seven factors increased with improved overall perception of the LE (all P ≤ .005). The JHLES is a new measure to assess students' perceptions of the medical school LE, with supporting validity evidence and content describing the social, relational, and academic processes of medical school that support students' professional formation.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Show more