Assessing Mentorship Experiences of Faculty at a Military Academic Center: Challenge and Opportunity

Kevin C. McMains*, Rechell G. Rodriguez, Jennifer Peel, Heather C. Yun, Mark W. True, Woodson S. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives Mentor relationships are a key component of professional development within academic medicine. To date, there are no investigations into the prevalence and effects of mentor relationships within military academic medicine. This quality improvement initiative aimed to establish the prevalence and effects of mentorship, including whether sex differences exist among faculty at a military academic center, the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, and identify opportunities to improve faculty development efforts for mentorship to benefit faculty at this institution. Methods A 17-item survey was developed using an iterative process. Using the SurveyMonkey platform, the survey was distributed to each faculty member within the 33 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited programs. Results A total of 104 responses (26%) were received from 393 total faculty members, including 48 Air Force, 45 Army, 3 Navy, and 8 Contractor/Government Service respondents. Thirty-four respondents were women (33%) and 70 were men (67%). Only 42% of faculty reported currently having a mentor. Thirty-nine respondents (38%; 44% men and 27% women) received formal mentorship at their first staff physician position after residency training. Mentorship helped respondents the most in the areas of clinical skills, understanding departmental/institutional culture, professionalism/officership, academic promotion/advancement, and clarification of priorities/goals. When asked whether more effective mentorship would affect their own decision to remain on active-duty military service, 14% responded "yes" and 28% responded "possibly." Conclusions Increased mentorship has the potential to positively affect career development in military academic military medicine. Results from this study affirm previous reports that effective mentorship potentially represents a powerful tool for faculty retention. Future study should include other military medical academic centers to assess the generalizability of these results across US military medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • academic medicine
  • gender
  • mentorship
  • military


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