The impact of active mentorship: results from a survey of faculty in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital

BMC Med Educ. 2018 May 11;18(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1191-5.


Background: To assess mentorship experiences among the faculty of a large academic department of medicine and to examine how those experiences relate to academic advancement and job satisfaction.

Methods: Among faculty members in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine, we assessed personal and professional characteristics as well as job satisfaction and examined their relationship with two mentorship dimensions: (1) currently have a mentor and (2) role as a mentor. We also developed a mentorship quality score and examined the relationship of each mentorship variable to academic advancement and job satisfaction.

Results: 553/988 (56.0%) of eligible participants responded. 64.9% reported currently having a mentor, of whom 21.3% provided their mentor a low quality score; 66.6% reported serving as a mentor to others. Faculty with a current mentor had a 3.50-fold increased odds of serving as a mentor to others (OR 3.50, 95% CI 1.84-6.67, p < 0.001). Faculty who reported their mentorship as high quality had a decreased likelihood of being stalled in rank (OR 0.28, 95% CI: 0.10-0.78, p = 0.02) and an increased likelihood of high job satisfaction (OR 3.91, 95% CI 1.77-8.63, p < 0.001) compared with those who reported their mentorship of low quality; further, having a low mentorship score had a similar relationship to job satisfaction as not having a mentor.

Conclusions: A majority of faculty survey respondents had mentorship, though not all of it of high caliber. Because quality mentorship significantly and substantially impacts both academic progress and job satisfaction, efforts devoted to improve the adoption and the quality of mentorship should be prioritized.

Keywords: Academic advancement; Academic rank; Faculty survey; Job satisfaction; Mentee; Mentor.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Success*
  • Career Mobility
  • Faculty, Medical / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Mentoring* / standards
  • Mentoring* / statistics & numerical data
  • Mentors / psychology*
  • Mentors / statistics & numerical data
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires