Senior mentors and role models have a positive influence on the career advancement of junior professionals in law, business, and medicine. In medicine an increasing number of women are pursuing academic careers, but available senior mentors to provide career guidance are often lacking. We report on the results of a national survey of 558 full-time faculty women, aged 50 years and younger, in departments of medicine in the United States, regarding their experience with role models and mentors. Women with mentors report more publications and more time spent on research activity than those without mentors. Women with a role model reported higher overall career satisfaction. This report, with illustrative examples, may be helpful to other women pursuing academic careers and to physicians who serve as mentors or role models to others.