Cross-Cultural Mentorship in Military Family Medicine: Defining the Problem

Lisa M Harris, Elyse Fiore Pierre, Nofisat Almaroof, Francesca M Cimino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Mentorship is critical to physician recruitment, career development, and retention. Many underrepresented in medicine (URiM) physicians experience minority taxes that can undermine their professional objectives. Use of cross-cultural mentoring skills to navigate differences between non-URiM and URiM physicians can make mentorship relationships with URiM physicians more effective. This survey examined military family physician demographics and mentorship practices.

METHODS: Design and Setting: Cross-sectional study using voluntary, anonymous data from the 2021 Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians (USAFP) Annual Meeting Omnibus Survey.

STUDY POPULATION: USAFP Members attending 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting.


STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics and χ2 tests.

RESULTS: The response rate to the omnibus survey was 52.9%, n=258. More than half of respondents did not have a URiM mentee and had not collaborated with a URiM colleague on a scholarly activity within the last 3 years. Only 54.7% of respondents could recognize and address minority taxes. URiM physicians were more likely to have a URiM mentee (65.4% vs 44.4%, P=.042) and to recognize and address minority taxes (84.6% vs 51.3%, P=.001). They also were more confident (84.6% vs 60.3%, P=.015) and more skilled in discussing racism (80.8% vs 58.2%, P=.026).

CONCLUSIONS: Structured programs are needed to improve knowledge and skills to support cross-cultural mentorship. Additional studies are needed to further evaluate and identify implementation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 24 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Humans
  • Mentors
  • Family Practice
  • Military Personnel
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Physicians, Family


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