Rationale and objectives: The purpose of this report is to describe the development and implementation of a faculty mentoring program in radiology designed to promote the career development of junior faculty and enhance communication in the department.
Materials and methods: The mentoring program was implemented in five stages: organizational readiness, participant recruitment, mentor matching and orientation, implementation, and evaluation. Evaluations were based on Likert scale ratings and qualitative feedback. A retrospective analysis was also conducted of the annual performance reviews of junior faculty in the areas of research, teaching, patient care, and overall performance.
Results: An average of 83% (19 of 23) of the junior faculty participated in the pilot phase of the mentoring program. During five rounds of testing, the median rating (1 indicates not important; 10, extremely important) from responding junior faculty was 10 for overall value of individual mentoring meetings; the median rating for the mentors responding was 8.75. Research and academic development were identified as the areas of greatest importance to the faculty. Research and patient care were most improved as assessed by faculty peers during performance reviews. The schedule of semiannual formal mentoring meetings was reported to be optimal.
Conclusion: The program was implemented to the satisfaction of junior faculty and mentors, and longitudinal performance suggests positive effects. Issues to be contended with include confidentiality and the time needed for mentoring beyond already saturated schedules. Overall, the authors propose that mentoring programs can be an asset to academic radiology departments and a key factor in maintaining their vitality.