Abstract

Introduction: In graduate medical education, trainees have different academic and professional growth needs throughout their career, but these needs have not been well studied (Gusic, Zenni, Ludwig & First, 2010). Traditional mentoring programs in many disciplines including medicine, science, law, business and education report individuals with mentors having higher earnings, higher job satisfaction and higher rates of promotion, compared to individuals without mentors (Bussey-Jones et al.,2006; Sambunak, Straus & Marusic, 2010).

Methods: We developed a structured mentoring program in the Department of Medicine in Cooper University Hospital which encourages both academic and professional growth through a major emphasis on academic scholarship. We created a 21 questions survey to evaluate mentee satisfaction towards their assigned mentors. The questions fit into four categories consisting of the mentor’s personal attributes and action characteristics and mentee’s short term and long term career goals. Sixty junior trainees (Post Graduate Year 1-3) and 39 senior trainees (Post Graduate Year 4-7) completed the survey.

Results and Conclusions: Senior trainees were more satisfied with their mentors’ intrinsic qualities (96%) compared to junior trainees (93%), c2 (1, N=980) = 5.72, p=0.017. Additionally, senior trainees were more satisfied with their mentors’ action characteristics (95%) compared to junior trainees (91%), c2(1, N=677) = 4.03, p=0.045. Junior trainees had a lower satisfaction rating, compared to their senior colleagues, which might imply that their needs and desires were not properly addressed by their mentors. Both junior and senior trainees identified the lowest satisfaction rates in their mentors’ communication skills and ability to challenge them. This was an area of weakness within the mentorship program which requires further research and attention.

Keywords:        Mentoring; Graduate Medical Education; Assessment

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