Mentorship in an academic department of family medicine

Fam Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(10):792-6.


Background and objectives: Lack of quality mentorship has been identified as an impediment to a successful academic career. This study serves as a needs assessment to understand baseline mentoring among faculty in an academic department of family medicine and the existing relationships between mentorship, job satisfaction, and academic productivity before the department begins a structured mentorship program.

Methods: All faculty received an anonymous online survey inquiring about their current mentorship and their perception of the importance of mentorship, in addition to measures of job satisfaction and academic productivity.

Results: Of 62 faculty members completing the survey (83% of faculty), almost all indicated it is very or somewhat important to have a mentor (97%, n=60), although only 45% (n=28) reported having a current mentor. Junior faculty were less likely than senior faculty to be satisfied with their mentorship, particularly if they did not have a current mentor. Job satisfaction was high and was not associated with having a mentor. Faculty members with mentors were more likely to have presented a talk or poster nationally, to have taken on a new educational or leadership role, and to have had a greater volume of academic activities overall.

Conclusions: Although faculty believe mentorship is important, less than half have a current mentor. Junior faculty are disproportionately dissatisfied by lack of mentorship. Mentorship was associated with some elements of academic productivity but not with job satisfaction. Further study of the impact of a more structured mentorship program is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Faculty, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Mentors*