Purpose: Mentoring is critical for career advancement in academic medicine. However, underrepresented minority (URM) faculty often receive less mentoring than their nonminority peers. The authors conducted a comprehensive review of published mentoring programs designed for URM faculty to identify "promising practices."
Method: Databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, ERIC, PsychLit, Google Scholar, Dissertations Abstracts International, CINHAL, Sociological Abstracts) were searched for articles describing URM faculty mentoring programs. The RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) formed the model for analyzing programs.
Results: The search identified 73 citations. Abstract reviews led to retrieval of 38 full-text articles for assessment; 18 articles describing 13 programs were selected for review. The reach of these programs ranged from 7 to 128 participants. Most evaluated programs on the basis of the number of grant applications and manuscripts produced or satisfaction with program content. Programs offered a variety of training experiences, and adoption was relatively high, with minor changes made for implementing the intended content. Barriers included time-restricted funding, inadequate evaluation due to few participants, significant time commitments required from mentors, and difficulty in addressing institutional challenges faced by URM faculty. Program sustainability was a concern because programs were supported through external funds, with minimal institutional support.
Conclusions: Mentoring is an important part of academic medicine, particularly for URM faculty who often experience unique career challenges. Despite this need, relatively few publications exist to document mentoring programs for this population. Institutionally supported mentoring programs for URM faculty are needed, along with detailed plans for program sustainability.