ArticlePDF Available

The POD: A New Model for Mentoring Underrepresented Minority Faculty

Authors:

Abstract

Mentoring, long recognized as a catalyst for successful careers, is particularly important to the career development of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty. In academic medicine, mentor-protégé relationships are seriously threatened by increased clinical, research, and administrative demands and an emphasis on scholarship over citizenship. New mentoring models are needed, and they should be adaptable to a medical school's unique structure and mission. The Peer-Onsite-Distance (POD) model, developed in 2002 by the authors and introduced at the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, is a targeted, multilevel mentoring prototype that is built on a solid research foundation and tailored to the unique needs of URM medical school faculty. The mentee's individual needs for guidance related to career goals, resources, and the content and interaction skills that are known to be critical to successful academic careers are targeted for development. The multilevel approach provides a unique network of peer and faculty mentors who provide site-specific career guidance. Also in the network are leaders in their fields who can provide access to accurate information, cautions, predictions, and announcements of future resources or potential restrictions in academic medicine. Mentor commitments are clearly defined and time contributions are maximized. The POD model aims to promote retention and advance the careers of URM faculty by wrapping them in a protective cushion of interpersonal and intrapersonal support. The flexibility of the design allows for adaptation to any institution's unique structure and mission.
Faculty
The POD: A New Model for Mentoring
Underrepresented Minority Faculty
Charlotte Lewellen-Williams, MPH, Virginia A. Johnson, EdD, Linda A. Deloney, EdD,
Billy R. Thomas, MD, MPH, Apollos Goyol, PhD, and Ronda Henry-Tillman, MD
Abstract
Mentoring, long recognized as a catalyst
for successful careers, is particularly
important to the career development of
underrepresented minority (URM) faculty.
In academic medicine, mentor–prote´ge´
relationships are seriously threatened by
increased clinical, research, and
administrative demands and an emphasis
on scholarship over citizenship. New
mentoring models are needed, and they
should be adaptable to a medical
school’s unique structure and mission.
The Peer-Onsite-Distance (POD) model,
developed in 2002 by the authors and
introduced at the College of Medicine at
the University of Arkansas for Medical
Sciences, is a targeted, multilevel
mentoring prototype that is built on a
solid research foundation and tailored to
the unique needs of URM medical school
faculty. The mentee’s individual needs
for guidance related to career goals,
resources, and the content and
interaction skills that are known to be
critical to successful academic careers are
targeted for development. The multilevel
approach provides a unique network of
peer and faculty mentors who provide
site-specific career guidance. Also in the
network are leaders in their fields who
can provide access to accurate
information, cautions, predictions, and
announcements of future resources or
potential restrictions in academic
medicine. Mentor commitments are
clearly defined and time contributions
are maximized. The POD model aims to
promote retention and advance the
careers of URM faculty by wrapping
them in a protective cushion of
interpersonal and intrapersonal support.
The flexibility of the design allows for
adaptation to any institution’s unique
structure and mission.
Acad Med. 2006; 81:275–279.
The importance of mentoring, long
recognized as a catalyst for successful
careers, is receiving renewed attention in
academic medicine. Benefits of the
mentor–prote´ge´ relationship are well
documented, and a positive correlation
between mentoring and academic success
and productivity has been frequently
reported.
1–10
Faculty who have been
successful in their careers are known to
have benefited from the counsel of one or
more mentors
11
across their professional
lifespan, especially during periods of
transition.
3,4,12
In particular, junior
faculty who have research mentors have
reported greater productivity and career
satisfaction.
7,10
Although having a faculty mentor and
being part of an active network of peers
are known to be essential elements of
successful careers in academic medicine,
the lack of mentoring is a pervasive
problem.
5,13
Mentor–prote´ge´
relationships are seriously threatened by
increased clinical, research, and
administrative demands, while traditional
support structures (e.g., the faculty club,
the doctors’ “mess”) have been eroded or
lost.
12
As a professional activity, the time
that is needed to build mentoring
relationships is typically uncompensated,
difficult to fit into busy schedules, and
undervalued by the medical school.
8,11,14
Promotion and tenure criteria in most
academic health centers emphasize
scholarship, not citizenship.
11
The need for mentoring may be even
greater for faculty from minorities
underrepresented in medicine.
Underrepresented minority (URM)
groups—African Americans, Hispanics,
American Indians, and Pacific
Islanders—are severely underrepresented
on medical school faculties
5,13,15–18
and at
the doctoral level in the sciences.
19
Compared to white faculty, URM
medical school faculty are promoted at
lower rates
15,17,20,21
and report lower
career satisfaction.
16,18
URM faculty, who
traditionally choose primary care
specialties and frequently have greater
debt burdens than do other faculty, have
been reported to spend more time in
patient care and less time in research than
their white counterparts.
16,20
Most
medical schools have few URM faculty to
mentor medical students.
9,17,22
One key way that physicians are
socialized to medical faculty roles is
mentoring. As stated above, this may be
particularly important to the career
development of URM faculty
3,13,15
because URM physicians are less likely to
have mentors.
5,23
Research in corporate
America has shown that people of color
who have a strong network of mentors to
cultivate their professional development
advance the furthest.
24
Mentoring must
be encouraged and rewarded if URMs are
to achieve and maintain positions of
influence and leadership in academia.
5
Ms. Lewellen-Williams is director of faculty
diversity for the University of Arkansas for Medical
Sciences College of Medicine, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Dr. Johnson is an educational evaluator, the
Academic Affairs Office of Educational Development,
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little
Rock, Arkansas.
Dr. Deloney is the graduate medical educator for
the Department of Radiology, University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, Little Rock,
Arkansas.
Dr. Thomas is the associate dean of diversity affairs
in the College of Medicine, University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
At the time of the study, Dr. Goyol was a program
evaluator, Academic Affairs Office of Educational
Development, University of Arkansas for Medical
Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Dr. Henry-Tillman is director of cancer control for
the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, University of
Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Correspondence should be addressed to Ms.
Lewellen-Williams, UAMS College of Medicine,
Center for Diversity Affairs, 4301 West Markham,
#820, Little Rock, AR 72205; telephone (501) 526-
6630; fax (501) 526-6620; e-mail:
lewellencharlottef@uams.edu.
Academic Medicine, Vol. 81, No. 3 / March 2006 275
In the institutional climate, structured,
visible systems make connections
between potential mentors and mentees
easier.
14
Although available research on
mentoring in medical environments is
limited, the variety and intensity of
reported mentoring activities at U.S.
medical schools suggest the difficulty of
implementing successful formal
mentoring programs.
5,7
Tested
mentoring models are lacking, as is
expertise in mentoring newer categories
of faculty such as clinician educators.
5
New models are needed, and it has been
suggested that each medical school
should design a mentoring program that
is appropriate for its unique structure
and mission.
5,15
In this article, we
describe the development of a unique
targeted, multilevel mentoring model, the
Peer-Onsite-Distance (POD) model, now
being used at our medical school. This
model is designed to promote retention
and career development among our
URM medical school faculty, but the
flexibility of our design allows for
adaptation to any institution’s unique
structure and mission.
Gathering Information
Literature review
We conducted an online Medline search
to identify research from a 25-year period
(1978 to 2002) on the impact of
mentoring on faculty in medical
professions. The reported studies were
analyzed to identify critical variables
associated with mentoring success in
environments where time and work
demands on potential mentors preclude
the use of a traditional mentor–prote´ge´
relationship. Alternative approaches were
examined to compare benefits of using
traditional “definite mentoring” by only
one mentor with “diffuse mentoring” by
several mentors.
25,28
We also examined
success strategies, problems, and
solutions for implementing and
maintaining mentor programs and
mentor training. Review findings were
summarized and used to develop a
structured interview that was intended to
identify current practices at other
medical schools (as described below) as
well as to structure the new URM
mentoring program.
Structured interviews
During a doctoral mentoring institute at
Arizona State University, we conducted
structured interviews with administrators
representing the 11 higher education
institutions that comprised the Minority
Graduate Education at Mountain States
Alliance. The institute, sponsored
(among others) by the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy
and the National Science Foundation
Alliance for Graduate Education and
Professoriate Programs, was designed to
enhance knowledge and best practices of
mentoring for URM faculty.
26
It provided
a natural environment for us to collect
detailed input from 30% of the attendees
regarding success strategies, problems,
and solutions related to initiating and
maintaining a mentoring program.
Structured interviews provided a unique
opportunity to investigate current
practices not yet published in the
literature. The interview format focused
on critical ingredients and the benefits of
mentoring in each respondent’s medical
setting. Specifically, the interview focused
on barriers to mentoring at the
respondent’s institution, as well as
outcomes and success strategies used with
junior faculty.
Inventory development
Based on findings from the literature
review and the structured interviews
described above, we designed two
inventories, the Mentee Need Inventory
and Mentor Readiness Inventory, as tools
for matching mentees’ needs with
mentors’ expertise. The inventories
comprised nine professional interaction
skills and 12 content skills (see Table 1).
The inventory was pilot-tested with a
focus group, and then parallel versions of
the needs assessment (one for peer
mentors, one for potential mentees) were
finalized as self-administered paper-and-
pencil questionnaires taking only ten to
20 minutes to complete. Permission to
conduct human subjects research was
granted by the institutional review board
at the University of Arkansas for Medical
Sciences (UAMS). University rules
required that all information remain
confidential.
We compiled a list of URM faculty,
housestaff, graduate students, and
medical students in the UAMS College of
Medicine as of Fall 2002 and invited all of
them to participate in the mentoring
project on a voluntary basis. Information
packets were distributed to a total of 31
interested participants—nine potential
peer mentors and 22 potential mentees—
during the Spring 2003 semester. The
packet consisted of a cover letter and a
copy of the appropriate needs assessment
inventory. The cover letter introduced
the investigators, the reason for the
project, the benefit of the study to the
participant, and the time frame for return
of the questionnaire (within two weeks).
All participants returned their completed
inventories (100% response rate).
What We Learned
Findings from the literature and
interviews
Our review of the literature confirmed
that faculty mentors and peer networks
Table 1
Content and Skills Critical to Academic Career Success*
Content areas Interaction skills
Career goals Coaching
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Clinical skills Decision making
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Conducting research Goal setting
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Confidence building Guiding
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Curriculum vitae development Listening
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Grant writing Problem solving
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Negotiating Providing feedback
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Organization and committee participation Reinforcing
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Professional networking Role modeling
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Promotion/tenure
.........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Publishing your work
* Based on findings from the literature, two inventories were designed as tools for matching mentees’ needs with
peer mentors’ expertise. The inventories, shown in the table, comprise 12 content skills and nine professional
interaction skills.
Faculty
Academic Medicine, Vol. 81, No. 3 / March 2006276
were critical ingredients of a successful
academic medicine career.
5,9,15,20,27
Importantly a positive relationship was
found to exist between having a mentor
and professional development
(conference participation, research,
teaching, grantsmanship, and
publishing).
1–10,28
Studies suggested that
successful mentoring programs should be
unique and developed according to the
setting and environment.
5
An
understanding of the cultural parameters
and unique needs and issues of different
minority groups was found to be
important. Essential characteristics of
successful mentor–mentee relationships
that were identified in the literature were
interpersonal (i.e., common research
interests and life experiences, trust,
honesty, and mutual respect) and
intrapersonal (i.e., similar values, ability
to motivate/inspire, recognition of
personal strengths and limitations, and
ability to give constructive
criticism).
1,4,8,10,13
Previous research and outcomes from the
structured interviews helped define
specific content areas to address during
mentoring such as professional
networking, publishing, committee
participation, teaching skills, grant
writing, promotion, and tenure. Specific
interaction skills critical to professional
performance, such as problem solving,
decision making, goal setting, and
feedback were also identified. This
information was consistent across
different medical school settings.
Findings from the inventories
When we had received the 31 completed
inventories, we used descriptive statistics
to quantify (1) mentee needs in the
content areas, (2) the interaction skills of
members of both groups, and (3) mentor
readiness. In addition, we developed an
evaluation plan and data collection
process to assess program outcomes in
these targeted areas.
The content skills for which the 22
potential mentees reported the most need
were networking (21; 95%), clinical skills
(19; 86%), curriculum vitae (CV)
development (18; 82%), establishing
career goals (17; 77%), and confidence
building (16; 73%). Although the nine
potential mentors (faculty and
community physicians) reported
readiness to mentor in all of these
content areas, mentor readiness was
strongest for clinical skills (7; 78%),
career goals (7; 78%), and confidence
building (7; 78%). A majority of potential
mentors (5; 55%) also agreed they could
assist with both developing a CV and in
networking.
Interaction skills for which the 22
potential mentees reported the most need
were problem solving (19; 86%), career
guidance (19; 86%), role modeling (18;
82%), providing feedback (18; 82%), and
coaching (15; 68%). Again, the nine
potential mentors reported readiness to
mentor in all of these areas. Mentor
readiness was strongest for problem
solving (8; 89%). Most potential mentors
(7; 78%) also agreed they could give
feedback and role model, as well as guide
(6; 67%) and coach (5; 55%).
Formal mentor preparation is known to
increase the frequency and effectiveness
of mentoring activities,
8
and outcomes of
the needs assessment verified a need for
some mentor training. Of the potential
mentors, one-third requested basic “how
to mentor” training. While two-thirds
indicated readiness to mentor, they
requested brief refresher sessions in
specific skills: CV preparation,
publishing, and negotiating. Interestingly,
four members (44%) of the group
requested a refresher session in how to
mentor teaching skills.
Both potential mentees and mentors
perceived the primary benefit of being
mentored as a means to develop a
professional network (mentees 11; 58%;
mentors 4, 44%). Secondarily, both
believe mentoring facilitates decision
making about career goals (mentees 6;
32%; mentors 3; 33%).
A New Mentoring Model
Overview
We developed the POD model in 2002
after the research described above. The
POD is a targeted, multilevel mentoring
model (illustrated in Figure 1) built on a
solid research foundation and tailored to
the unique needs of minority medical
school faculty. Furthermore, the POD
model is based on the belief that people
have value as individuals and as members
of groups. The model provides a
protective structure to orient new faculty
to the culture of academic medicine and
offers interpersonal and intrapersonal
support to nurture the mentee’s
professional development. It targets the
individual’s needs for guidance related to
career goals, resources, and content and
interaction skills (see Table 1). Channels
of support and communication are
developed within and between a network
of mentors to convey general success
strategies as well as site-specific guidance.
We believe the POD acronym connotes a
protective environment that nurtures the
junior faculty member, just as a family or
social group cares for its members or the
fruit of a plant protects its new seeds.
The model’s components
The model has five parts:
Figure 1 The Peer-Onsite-Distance (POD) model used to mentor underrepresented medical
school faculty at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. The figure illustrates how
individual mentees’ needs can be met, either simultaneously or in sequence, by three different
types of mentors. Typically, peer mentors are junior faculty, onsite mentors are senior faculty, and
distance mentors are private-practice physicians, state and national legislators, and other health
care professionals.
Faculty
Academic Medicine, Vol. 81, No. 3 / March 2006 277
Mentee. A mentee is a junior URM
faculty member who is the recipient of
teaching and relationship-building
activities that are critical to career
advancement in the academic medicine
environment.
Content and interaction skills. Content
and interaction skills are themes that
have been identified in the literature as
critical for successful academic careers
across medical environments. The model
integrates specific content areas and
interaction skills that can be applied to
the mentoring relationship (see Table 1).
Peer mentors. Faculty who are advancing
in the academic environment and are
close to the mentee in rank are peer
mentors. They are prepared to offer
advice from their own experiences that is
appropriate for and effective in the
particular site. These mentors socialize
mentees to the medical faculty role and
provide collegial support that includes
empathy, warmth, and genuineness.
Onsite mentors. Onsite mentors are
senior faculty, including researchers, full
professors, and department chairs, who
provide information in targeted content
areas. They serve as the mentee’s
advocates, liaisons, or coaches and
provide support, guidance, authentic
feedback, “real world” examples, and
alternatives. They serve a number of
mentees in a timely and efficient manner
that is congruent with their busy
schedules.
Distance mentors. Distance participants
are leaders who emerge from health care,
business, academia, or governmental
and political settings and accept a
clearly defined responsibility to make a
once-a-year contribution in their area
of expertise, frequently conducted as
part of their ongoing public information
activities. These mentors share accurate
information, cautions, predictions, and
announcements of future resources or
restrictions in academic medicine.
Application of the model
The application process is self-directed
and initiated when a URM faculty
member completes a Mentee Need
Inventory (described earlier). Peer and
onsite mentors who indicated readiness
to give support and instruction in the
needed content and interaction skills
areas are identified and asked to provide
targeted mentoring. These mentors are
offered training in coaching and guidance
strategies, feedback and reinforcement
techniques, and evidence-based
instructional methods that enable
mentees to learn quickly and efficiently in
the environment in which they will have
to respond.
Contact is initiated when mentoring
strategies, selected by the mentor to meet
the mentee’s targeted needs, are applied
individually or as a set of sequential and
cumulative steps. For example, the
mentee may need instruction in one or
more targeted content areas (e.g., CV
development) and interaction skills (e.g.,
providing feedback to residents). The
instruction may be enriched by shared
examples of successful career experiences,
and/or extended by recommended
materials for further study. The mentee
may arrange opportunities to observe
persons who are proficient in specific
information or skills in the academic
environment. The mentee may also
shadow the mentor to observe the skill
being modeled in practice or view
examples on video or other media.
Having learned a skill and seen it applied
(e.g., networking), the mentee should
practice in a variety of increasingly
complex environments under the
guidance of the mentor. For example, the
mentor might first have the mentee
network at a departmental meeting, next
at a college-wide event, and then at a
national professional meeting. After each
practice activity, the mentor reinforces
the elements of successful performance
and provides specific guidance as to how
performance might be improved in the
next practice activity. Upon successful
acquisition of the skill, the mentee should
reflect on the learning experience and
discuss the experience with the mentor.
On a continuous basis, mentors will share
emerging success strategies with each
other for the benefit of future mentees.
This process, facilitated by the POD
program administrator, enables mentors
to expand their menu of places to
practice, models to observe, and media
and materials to review, as well as to
endorse or reaffirm that certain activities
are more effective in generating rapid
performance of new skills. In addition,
mentors will discuss any obstacles and
barriers encountered by mentees and
work together to formulate solutions.
A Program Based on the Model
A URM mentoring program based on the
newly developed POD model was
introduced to faculty at the UAMS
College of Medicine in 2002 using a
grand rounds session in conjunction with
individual departmental presentations.
The POD model was immediately
accepted by all stakeholders— university
administration, potential peer and onsite
mentors, and potential mentees—and
supported by College of Medicine faculty.
Ten senior and nine junior URM faculty
immediately decided to participate. These
mentors represented a wide variety of
departments in the college.
Basic or refresher training assures
mentors have effective advising, teaching,
and leadership skills appropriate for the
medical environment. Mentor training
on guidance and coaching strategies was
offered to peer and onsite mentors at the
onset of the project.
The program was initiated with 22
mentees, nine peer, and ten onsite
mentors. Distance mentors were alumni
in private practice, a state senator, a U.S.
Congressman, and a former U.S. Surgeon
General. They provide accurate
information, cautions, predictions, and
announcements of future resources or
potential restrictions in academic
medicine. Distance mentors are expected
to present one “Lunch and Learn” on
campus annually, designed specifically
for program participants and targeting
topics identified in the needs assessment.
This will provide a unique opportunity
for URM faculty to network and connect
with distance mentors to facilitate career
progression. Ongoing recruitment
activities target individuals who have
unique access to information and
resources on a national level.
While the primary outcome of this
project was the creation of the POD
mentoring model, a second outcome was
the transition of the URM mentoring
program from a time-limited grant-
funded activity to an ongoing activity
supported by the College of Medicine.
Traditionally, URM faculty mentoring in
the UAMS College of Medicine had been
facilitated by the Office of Minority
Affairs. Introduction of the POD model
contributed to a new Center of Diversity
Affairs with a full-time director position.
Faculty
Academic Medicine, Vol. 81, No. 3 / March 2006278
Conclusion and Discussion
Targeted multilevel mentoring is an
innovative approach to providing URM
faculty with faculty mentors and an active
network of peers, both known to be
essential elements for successful academic
medicine careers.
1–10
As stated earlier, the
literature suggests that successful
mentoring programs be unique and
appropriate to the medical school’s
setting and environment.
5
Although
successful faculty careers are known to
benefit from the counsel of one or more
mentors,
11
there is ample evidence that
mentor–mentee relationships are
seriously threatened by increased clinical,
research, and administrative demands.
The time required to build mentoring
relationships is typically uncompensated,
difficult to fit into busy schedules, and
undervalued by the medical school.
8,11,14
The POD model is designed to increase
the likelihood that mentors with limited
time will participate in mentoring
activities. In the three-level POD model,
peer mentors provide guidance and
support while busy senior faculty focus
on specific and generally more
challenging tasks on a professional level.
The mentees are further supported by a
network of academic, corporate, and
government and political leaders.
The POD’s multilevel approach parallels
findings of a recent study that identified
three important domains of successful
mentorship: the relationship between
mentor and mentee (such as guidance
and support), the professional attributes
of the mentor (such as reputation), and
the personal attributes of the mentor
(such as availability and caring).
10
While
our informal evaluation activities to date
have provided evidence of the efficacy of
the POD model, future studies will assess
the productivity and career satisfaction of
mentees who are mentored by this new
approach.
Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by a grant from
the National Cancer Institute to Reduce Cancer
Health Disparities, 5U01 CA86081-04, Arkansas
Special Populations Access Network. Preliminary
findings, “Needs and Resources for Developing a
Targeted Approach to Mentoring for Minorities
in Professional Medical Careers,” were presented
at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Association of
American Medical Colleges, Washington D.C.
References
1Berk RA, Berg J, Mortimer R, Walton-Moss
B, Yeo TP. Measuring the effectiveness of
faculty mentoring relationships. Acad Med.
2005;80:66–71.
2Chew LD, Watanabe JM, Buchwald D, Lessler
DS. Junior faculty’s perspectives on
mentoring. Acad Med. 2003;78:652.
3Duda RB. Mentorship in academic medicine:
a critical component for all faculty and
academic advancement. Curr Surg. 2004;61:
325–27.
4Hazzard WR. Mentoring across the
professional lifespan in academic geriatrics.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999;47:1466–70.
5Johnson JC, Williams B, Jayadevappa R.
Mentoring program for min0ority faculty at
the University of Pennsylvania School of
Medicine. Acad Med. 1999;74:376–79.
6Morzinski JA, Diehr S, Bower DJ, Simpson
DE. A descriptive, cross-sectional study of
formal mentoring for faculty. Fam Med.
1996;28:434–38.
7Palepu A, Friedman R. Junior faculty
members’ mentoring relationships and their
professional development in U.S. medical
schools. Acad Med. 1998;73:318–23.
8Redmond SP. Mentoring and cultural
diversity in academic settings. Am Behav Sci.
1990;34:188–200.
9Roche GR. Much ado about mentors. Harv
Bus Rev. 1979;57(1):14–20.
10 Steiner JF, Curtis P, Lanphear BP, Vu KO,
Main DS. Assessing the role of influential
mentors in the research development of
primary care fellows. Acad Med. 2004;79:
865–72.
11 Levy BD, Katz JT, Wolf MA, Sillman JS,
Handin RI, Dzau VJ. An initiative in
mentoring to promote residents’ and
faculty members’ careers. Acad Med. 2004;
79:845–50.
12 Bligh J. Mentoring: an invisible support
network. Med Educ. 1999;33:2–3.
13 Sims-Boykin SD, Zambrana RE, Williams KP,
Salas-Lopez D, Sheppard V, Headley AJ.
Mentoring underrepresented minority female
medical school faculty: momentum to
increase retention and promotion. J Assoc
Acad Minor Phys. 2003;14(1):15–18.
14 Jackson VA, Palepu A, Szalacha L, Caswell C,
Carr PL, Inui T. Having the right chemistry: a
qualitative study of mentoring in academic
medicine. Acad Med. 2003;78:328–34.
15 Erwin DO, Henry-Tillman RS, Thomas BR. A
qualitative study of the experiences of one
group of African Americans in pursuit of a
career in academic medicine. J Nat Med
Assoc. 2002;94:802–12.
16 Palepu A, Carr PL, Friedman RH, Ash AS,
Moskowitz MA. Specialty choices,
compensation, and career satisfaction of
underrepresented minority faculty in academic
medicine. Acad Med. 2000;75:157–60.
17 Fang D, Moy E, Colburn L, Hurley R. Racial
and ethnic disparities in faculty promotion in
academic medicine. JAMA. 2000;284:1085–91.
18 Peterson NB, Friedman RH, Ash AS, Franco
S, Carr PL. Faculty self-reported experience
with racial and ethnic discrimination in
academic medicine. J Gen Intern Med. 2004;
19:259–65.
19 Crowley S, Fuller D, Law W, et al. Improving
the climate in research and scientific training
environments for members of
underrepresented minorities. Neuroscientist.
2004;10:26–30.
20 Palepu A, Carr PL, Friedman RH, Amos H,
Ash AS, Moskowitz MA. Minority faculty and
academic rank in medicine. JAMA. 1998;280:
767–71.
21 Petersdorf RG, Turner KS, Nickens HW, Ready
T. Minorities in medicine: past, present, and
future. Acad Med. 1990;65:663–70.
22 Abernethy AD. A mentoring program for
underrepresented minority students at the
University of Rochester School of Medicine.
Acad Med. 1999;74:356–5.
23 Ramanan RA, Phillips RS, Davis RB, Silen W,
Reede JY. Mentoring in medicine: keys to
satisfaction. Am J Med. 2002;112:336–41.
24 Thomas DA. The truth about mentoring
minorities. Race matters. Harv Bus Rev. 2001;
79:98–107, 168.
25 Fagan M. The term “mentor”: a review of the
literature and a pragmatic suggestion. Int J
Mentoring. 1988;2(2):5–8.
26 Rodriguez AA. Doctoral Mentoring Institute:
Increasing PhD Production and Shaping
Tomorrow’s Leaders. Phoenix: Minority
Graduate Education at Mountain States
Alliance, 2001.
27 Wilson DE, Balotin J. Has the well run dry?
Priming the diversity pump in PhD
programs. J Assoc Acad Minor Phys. 1999;10
(2):27–33.
28 Smith EP, Davidson WS II. Mentoring and
the development of African-American
graduate students. J Coll Student Dev. 1992;
33:531–39.
Faculty
Academic Medicine, Vol. 81, No. 3 / March 2006 279
... One program described a Peer-Onsite-Distance model which featured peer mentors who were close to the mentee in rank; senior faculty as on-site mentors to serve as advocates, liaisons, or coaches; and distance mentors who are leaders in healthcare, business, academia, or political settings. 40 Another approach featured a cascading mentorship model in which eight or nine senior faculty members were each paired with multiple medical students, who in turn, mentored two or three undergraduate university students, who then mentored a group of five high school students. 36 The mosaic model, which was aimed to increase the sex and racial/ethnic diversity of researchers in aging, described a research program that featured individual research mentoring, career coaching, and counseling from the program director and other senior female faculty members. ...
... 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 37-39, 47-49 Five programs designated recruitment and retention of URiM mentees as one of their primary program objectives. 25,39,40,42,45,54 For six programs, their goal was to provide support to mentees through their mentorship programs 34,35,41,42,53,55 Two publications aimed to further mentorship research: one described a new mentorship model that could be adapted to other insitutions, 40 and the other was an RCT that evaluated whether mentorship models satisfied psychological needs. 23 Other program objectives were to develop leadership skills and opportunities, 36,42 teaching skills, 36,46 clinical skills, 36,48 and cultural competence; 52 train mentors, 55 enhance socialization, 52 and networking; 24,48 and to orient junior faculty to the division. ...
... 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 37-39, 47-49 Five programs designated recruitment and retention of URiM mentees as one of their primary program objectives. 25,39,40,42,45,54 For six programs, their goal was to provide support to mentees through their mentorship programs 34,35,41,42,53,55 Two publications aimed to further mentorship research: one described a new mentorship model that could be adapted to other insitutions, 40 and the other was an RCT that evaluated whether mentorship models satisfied psychological needs. 23 Other program objectives were to develop leadership skills and opportunities, 36,42 teaching skills, 36,46 clinical skills, 36,48 and cultural competence; 52 train mentors, 55 enhance socialization, 52 and networking; 24,48 and to orient junior faculty to the division. ...
Article
Background Though the USA is becoming increasingly diverse, the physician workforce contains a disproportionately low number of physicians from racial and ethnic groups that are described as underrepresented in medicine (URiM). Mentorship has been proposed as one way to improve the retention and experiences of URiM physicians and trainees. The objective of this systematic review was to identify and describe mentoring programs for URiM physicians in academic medicine and to describe important themes from existing literature that can aid in the development of URiM mentorship programs.Methods The authors searched PubMed, PsycINFO, ERIC, and Cochrane databases, and included original publications that described a US mentorship program involving academic medical doctors at the faculty or trainee level and were created for physicians who are URiM or provided results stratified by race/ethnicity.ResultsOur search yielded 4,548 unique citations and 31 publications met our inclusion criteria. Frequently cited objectives of these programs were to improve research skills, to diversify representation in specific fields, and to recruit and retain URiM participants. Subjective outcomes were primarily participant satisfaction with the program and/or work climate. The dyad model of mentoring was the most common, though several novel models were also described. Program evaluations were primarily subjective and reported high satisfaction, although some reported objective outcomes including publications, retention, and promotion. All showed satisfactory outcomes for the mentorship programs.DiscussionThis review describes a range of successful mentoring programs for URiM physicians. Our recommendations based on our review include the importance of institutional support for diversity, tailoring programs to local needs and resources, training mentors, and utilizing URiM and non-URiM mentors.
... URM researchers are uniquely vulnerable to the disruptions wrought by the pandemic. URM researchers working in academia are less likely to receive NIH funding, generally have fewer mentorship relationships, and have smaller networks and fewer sponsorship opportunities than do their nonminority counterparts (21). However, URM researchers contribute to scientific innovation at high rates, a phenomena recently named "the diversity-innovation paradox in science" (22). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic halted research operations at academic medical centers. This shutdown has adversely affected research infrastructure, the current research workforce, and the research pipeline. We discuss the impact of the pandemic on overall research operations, examine its disproportionate effect on underrepresented minority researchers, and provide concrete strategies to reverse these losses.
... 29 Part of this process includes speaking to children in schools to make them aware of medicine as a career option and providing mentors to individuals to help support and guide them through the process applying for and working their way through medical school and subsequent specialty training. 70,71 However, it must be noted that with the long period of time needed to fully train a doctor, and this is a long-term approach. ...
Article
Full-text available
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent disorder of gut‐brain interaction, which significantly erodes the quality of life of those it affects. Recent studies have confirmed that its prevalence varies quite markedly between countries, implying that it is affected by cultural and socioeconomic factors. In an important study, Silvernale at al. have recently reported racial disparities including potential referral biases, with reduced opportunities to access specialist care and differing patterns of healthcare utilization affecting ethnic minority populations with IBS. Similar disparities have also been reported for other gastrointestinal disorders. In this paper, we, therefore, discuss the potential implications of such disparities and how they can impact clinical outcomes, and discuss ways in which this problem could be addressed, and highlighting areas for future research.
... The success of our UREG scholars in obtaining subsequent NIH funding is notable because they may face a number of barriers. Compared with their non-UREG peers, UREGs are less likely to receive adequate mentorship or compete successfully for NIH funding, 5,21,22 and face greater feelings of isolation, made worse by the absence of minority role models, devaluing of their scholarship, greater expectations to serve on committees because of their race, and bias in the workplace. 18,23 Our KL2 program may address some of these barriers, increasing the likelihood of success. ...
Article
Full-text available
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has prioritized efforts to increase diversity in the biomedical research workforce. NIH-funded institutional career development awards may serve as one mechanism to facilitate these efforts. In 2013, the Duke University KL2 program, an internal career development program funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, set a goal to increase the number of investigators from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (UREGs) to ≥50% of KL2 awardees. From 2013–2019, 133 KL2 applications were received, 38% from UREG investigators. Of the 21 scholars selected, 10 (47.6%) were UREG investigators; all were Black/African American. This represents a 3-fold increase in the proportion of UREG applications and 6-fold increase in the proportion of UREG KL2 scholars compared with Duke’s previous KL2 cycles (2003–2012), during which only 13% of applicants and 8.3% of funded scholars were UREGs. Of the 12 KL2 scholars (7 UREG) who completed the program, 5 have received NIH funding as principal investigators of an external K award or R01, and 4 of them are UREG investigators; this constitutes a post-KL2 NIH funding success rate of 57% (4/7) for UREG scholars. Achieving this programmatic priority was facilitated by institutional support, clear communication of goals to increase the proportion of UREG KL2 awardees, and intentional strategies to identify and support applicants. Strategies included targeted outreach to UREG investigators, partnerships with other institutional entities, structured assistance for investigators with preparing their applications, and a KL2 program structure addressing common barriers to success for UREG investigators, such as lack of consistent mentorship, protected research time, and peer support. The authors’ experience suggests that KL2 and other internal career development programs may represent a scalable, national strategy to increase diversity in the biomedical research workforce.
... In academia, these challenges have worsened because of the "minority tax"-the toll of often uncompensated extra responsibilities (time or money) placed on minority faculty in the name of achieving diversity. The unintended consequences of these responsibilities result in having fewer mentors, 6 caring for underserved populations, 7 and performing more clinical care 8 than non-underrepresented minority faculty. Because minority faculty are unlikely to be in leadership positions, it is reasonable to conclude they have been shouldering heavier clinical obligations and facing greater career disruption of scholarly work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
Article
Underrepresented minority (URM) faculty hold about 10% of tenured positions, despite URM comprising more than 30% of the United States population; thus, disparities remain in the recruitment, development, retention and promotion of diverse faculty in large part because of a lack of mentoring. Research suggests that mentoring from senior URM faculty will lower URM faculty attrition rates and lead to success in tenure and promotion. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a mentoring program for new URM faculty in the areas of teaching, advising, research, service, and mastery of subject matter. New URM faculty were matched with URM mentors and received monthly virtual mentoring. Results demonstrated substantial growth in each area post-program, with statistically significant outcomes in the areas of teaching and advising. Faculty reported substantial benefits including sharing experiences, relationship building, lessened feelings of isolation, and increased knowledge of tenure and promotion expectations.
Article
Increased regulatory oversight, mandated use of electronic medical records, and economic constraints on healthcare and research confront academic medical institutions while the core requirements for productivity in research, teaching and excellence and equity in clinical care remain. “Burnout” is an important challenge to healthcare and reflects the alienation, cynicism and decreased productivity of responsibilities in medicine that may detract from individual career engagement. Mentorship is advantageous in the successful navigation of careers in academic medicine, notably for individuals in need of specialized knowledge, skills or psychological support to accelerate their development. A formalized mentorship program provides individuals with the guidance and support needed for career development and may alleviate some of the alienation associated with burnout. The interdisciplinary nature of biomedicine supports the use of multiple mentors to provide diverse perspectives for trainees and junior faculty. Mentorship programs require institutional engagement with clear articulation of institutional goals and values as well as financial and political support. Such programs will identify and train potential leaders throughout an organizational hierarchy, support innovation and flexibility within the organization, increase job satisfaction and retention, and, as a result, enhance the institution's competitive position. Notably, relationships developed within a supportive environment may also mitigate the development of professional burnout.
Article
Mentorship is a critical tool for professional development and career success. In academic surgery, supportive mentorship affords higher job satisfaction, academic productivity, and diversity and inclusion. It protects against burnout and increasing academic surgery attrition rates. Women, underrepresented minorities, and junior plastic surgeons report lower job satisfaction and fewer mentorship opportunities. Given the unique challenges these groups face in a constantly changing health care system, the importance of mentorship cannot be overstated. Through a survey of American Society of Plastic Surgeons members, this study evaluated different aspects of mentorship to describe the current state in plastic surgery. Despite 94.05 percent of plastic surgeons believing that mentorship is valuable, only 15.16 percent reported a structured mentorship system, often without evaluation. Male and female participants agree that mentorship is needed for both professional (clinical judgment) and personal (work-life balance) development. Interestingly, women plastic surgeons felt it was important for mentees to have gender and race/ethnicity concordance to their mentors (p < 0.001). There was no agreement regarding the most effective method to implement mentorship programs, highlighting the challenges of this problem. Through thoughtful planning and commitment, mentorship programs can be instituted to benefit not just the mentee, but the mentor as well.
Article
Background Mentorship in the surgical field has been increasingly recognized as a crucial component of career success. Distance mentorship models may be utilized to overcome geographic limitations, increase mentorship access, and strengthen mentoring relationships in surgery. Objective This review aimed to identify the scope of literature on distance mentoring in surgery, the range of its application, its effectiveness, and any gaps in the literature that should be addressed in order to enhance mentorship in the surgical field. Design A comprehensive PubMed review was performed in January 2021 on distance mentorship of students, trainees, and surgeons in the surgical field. Reviews, replies, and non-English articles were excluded. Data was extracted regarding publication year, author's country, specialty, subjects, aim of mentorship model, and efficacy. Results 134 total studies met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Most studies were published in 2020, written by authors in the USA, from general surgery, and featured an expert surgeon paired with a more junior fully trained surgeon. In all, 93.3% of studies utilized distance mentorship to enhance surgical skill through telementoring and only 4.5% were focused on mentorship to enhance careers through professional development. The remaining studies utilized distance mentorship models to increase surgical research (0.7%) and clinical knowledge (1.5%). Conclusion The results of this review suggest successful implementation of distance mentoring in surgery through telementoring, but a lack of professionally aimed distance mentorship programs. Amidst COVID-19, distance mentorship is particularly important because of decreased face-to-face opportunity. Future studies in the surgical field should investigate distance mentoring as a means of increasing mentorship for professional development.
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Trainees and investigators from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds face unique challenges to establishing successful careers in clinical and translational research. Structured training for mentors is an important mechanism to increase the diversity of the research workforce. This article presents data from an evaluation of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Mentoring the Mentors program aimed at improving mentors’ competency in working with diverse mentees in HIV research. Methods Mentors from around the USA who had in one of seven separate 2-day training workshops conducted from 2013 to 2020 were invited to participate in an online evaluation survey of their experiences with the training and their subsequent mentoring activities. Results There was a high response rate (80%) among the 226 mentors invited to complete the survey. The 180 respondents were diverse in demographics, professional disciplines, and geographic distribution. Quantitative and qualitative data indicate a lasting positive impact of the training, with sustained improvements documented on a validated measure of self-appraised mentoring competency. Respondents also endorsed high interest in future, follow-up training with continued focus on topics related to mentoring in the context of diversity. Conclusion The evaluation of the UCSF CFAR Mentoring the Mentors program showed lasting impact in improving mentoring practices, coupled with high interest in continued in-depth training in areas focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Article
Full-text available
Underrepresented minority (URM) groups constitute only 3% of United States medical school faculty. Significant barriers remain to the advancement of URM faculty members at academic medical institutions. Mentoring is a viable way to improve the academic productivity and ultimate promotion of URM faculty. This is an exploratory report that describes important lessons learned about mentoring from the unique perspective on five URM women. This report systematically chronicles these women's perspectives of mentoring. Several common elements emerged as being necessary for an effective mentoring relationship: trust, understanding of the minority experience, positive regard/validation, and availability of time. The respondents noted that when present these elements facilitated mentoring. These findings can be utilized at all academic institutions to improve the quality of mentoring, which should, in turn, increase the retention and promotion of URM faculty and ultimately decrease racial and ethnic disparities in the physician and bioscientist workforce as proposed in the objectives of Healthy People 2010.
Article
The author discusses the various definitions of the term "mentor" as revealed in the literature. Functions of mentors are listed and the mentor-protege relationship is discussed. (CH)
Examines the expanded role of planned mentoring, as opposed to informal or natural mentoring, between students and faculty. Philosophical and practical issues related to mentoring, particularly to its role in increasing cultural diversity, are discussed. Issues related to designing and administering planned mentoring programs to improve retention, timely graduation rates, and cross-cultural understanding are highlighted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Described the demographic characteristics, professional development, and faculty and peer support among 182 African-American graduate students. The relationship of mentoring and networking to the professional development of Ss was examined, and the relative impact of faculty mentoring vs peer networking was investigated. Although the support from faculty and staff was salient in enhancing professional development, one-third of the Ss reported receiving no such support at the university or from professionals in the community. Ss who did have support received it from faculty of various racial backgrounds. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
PURPOSE: Despite efforts to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities (URMs), only 3.9% of medical school faculty are URMs. The authors compared the specialty choices, compensation, and career satisfaction of minority faculty with those of their majority counterparts to determine whether there were differences that might affect the recruitment and retention of minority faculty. METHOD: In 1995, the authors mailed a self-administered survey to a stratified random sample of 3,013 eligible full-time salaried faculty in 24 randomly selected medical schools. Those schools, which had at least 200 faculty, did not include the Puerto Rican or historically black medical schools. RESULTS: Of the eligible faculty surveyed, 1,807 (60%) responded; 1,463 were majority faculty, 195 were URM faculty, and 149 were other-minority faculty. Similar proportions of the three groups were in the primary care specialties. Only 11% of the URM respondents were in basic science departments. There was no significant difference in adjusted mean compensation between majority, URM, and other-minority faculty. However, URM faculty were significantly less satisfied with their careers (adjusted scores: 60 versus > 65; p = .001) and more often considered leaving academic medicine within five years (58% versus < 45%). CONCLUSION: Given the demographic changes of the U.S. population, these issues should be addressed by deans and department heads in order to enhance recruitment and facilitate retention of URM faculty in academic medicine.
Article
Context: Previous studies have found that fewer minority medical school faculty hold senior professorial ranks than do majority faculty and may not be promoted as rapidly. Objective: To determine whether minority faculty were as likely as majority faculty to have attained senior rank (associate professor or full professor) after adjusting for other factors that typically influence promotion. Design: A self-administered mailed survey of US medical school faculty using the Association of American Medical Colleges database. The sample was stratified by department, graduation cohort, and sex. Participants: A stratified random sample of 3013 full-time faculty at 24 representative US medical schools. All underrepresented minority faculty at these schools were sampled. Main outcome measure: Attainment of senior academic rank (associate professor or full professor). Results: Of 3013 faculty surveyed, 1807 (60.0%) responded, including 1463 white (81.0%), 154 black (8.5%), 136 Asian (7.5%), and 54 Hispanic (3.0%). Overall, 980 faculty (54%) had attained senior academic rank, including 47 (30.5%) of 154 black faculty, 59 (43.4%) of 136 Asian faculty, 22 (40.8%) of 54 Hispanic faculty, and 852 (58.3%) of 1463 white faculty. White faculty had significantly more first-authored and total peer-reviewed publications than the other groups. After adjusting for the medical school, department, years as medical school faculty, number of peer-reviewed publications, receipt of research grant funding, proportion of time in clinical activities, sex, and tenure status, we found that the odds ratios of holding senior rank relative to white faculty were 0.33 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17-0.63) for black faculty, 0.36 (95% CI, 0.12-1.08) for Hispanic faculty, and 0.58 (95% CI, 0.30-1.12) for Asian faculty. Conclusions: Minority faculty were less likely than white faculty to hold senior academic rank. This finding was not explained by potential confounders such as years as a faculty member or measures of academic productivity.
Article
PURPOSE: To determine (1) the prevalence of mentoring relationships for U.S. medical school junior faculty; (2) the quality of these mentoring relationships; (3) any variation by gender or race; and (4) the relationship between mentoring and junior faculty members' perceptions of institutional professional support; research-, teaching-, and clinical-skills development; allocation of time to professional activities; and career satisfaction. METHOD: In 1995 a 177-item survey was mailed to 3,013 full-time faculty at 24 randomly selected U.S. medical schools stratified on an area of medical specialization, graduation cohort, and gender. Mentoring was defined as "dynamic reciprocal relationship between an advanced career incumbent (the mentor) and a junior faculty member (the protege) aimed at fostering the development of the junior person/protege." Because mentoring is most crucial for junior faculty, the study focused on mentoring relationships within the previous three years ("recent mentoring") for faculty who were not full professors. Chisquare tests, analysis of variance, and principal-components analysis were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: In all, 1,808 (60%) of the 3,013 faculty surveyed, of whom 72% were junior faculty, returned completed questionaires. Fifty-four percent of the junior faculty had had a recent mentoring relationship. There was no significant difference between the men and the women faculty or between majority and minority faculty in the prevalence and quality of the mentoring relationships. The faculty with mentors rated their research preparation and research skills higher than did the faculty without mentors. Most of the women faculty (80%) and the minority faculty (86%) who had had mentors reported that it was not important to have a mentor of the same gender or minority group. CONCLUSION: Mentoring relationships are prevalent in academic medicine and should be promoted to support the career growth of junior faculty.
Article
Since 1970 the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has had two key policies about minorities in medicine: (1) special attention should be paid to minority groups underrepresented in medicine, and (2) minority groups should be represented in medicine in the same proportions as in the population as a whole. Despite strong gains in the 1970s in increasing the number of black trainees and graduates, the proportion of minorities in medicine now is declining in relation to the total population. The paper discusses this situation, changes in U.S. minority populations, factors that affected the attempt to achieve parity in medicine, the current status of minorities in medical training (including educational debt) and on medical faculties, and remedies for institutions' lack of success in achieving parity. Three successful programs are described, as are the broader social issues that underlie academic medicine's attempt to increase the proportion of minorities in medicine.