Results of a Formal Mentorship Program for Internal Medicine Residents: Can We Facilitate Genuine Mentorship?

Brian M. Cohee, Stephen A. Koplin, William T. Shimeall, Timothy M. Quast, Joshua D. Hartzell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Mentorship programs are perceived as valuable, yet little is known about the effect of program design on mentoring effectiveness.

INTERVENTION: We developed a program focused on mentoring relationship quality and evaluated how subsequent relationships compared to preexisting informal pairings.

METHODS: Faculty members were invited by e-mail to participate in a new mentoring program. Participants were asked to complete a biography, subsequently provided to second- and third-year internal medicine residents. Residents were instructed to contact available mentors, and ultimately designate a formal mentor. All faculty and residents were provided a half-day workshop training, written guidelines, and e-mails. Reminders were e-mailed and announced in conferences approximately monthly. Residents were surveyed at the end of the academic year.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven faculty members completed the biography, and 70% (26 of 37) of residents responded to the survey. Of the resident respondents, 77% (20 of 26) chose a formal mentor. Of the remainder, most had a previous informal mentor. Overall, 96% (25 of 26) of the residents had identified a mentor of some kind compared to 50% (13 of 26) before the intervention (P < .001), and 70% (14 of 20) who chose formal mentors identified them as actual mentors. Similar numbers of residents described their mentors as invested in the mentorship, and there was no statistical difference in the number of times mentors and mentees met.

CONCLUSIONS: Facilitated selection of formal mentors produced relationships similar to preexisting informal ones. This model may increase the prevalence of mentorship without decreasing quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015


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