What is Mentoring?

. . . a multifaceted collaboration between a junior professional and a senior professional with the primary goal being the guidance and nurturing of the junior professional's development.

. . . a process by which a mentor and mentee work together to discover, develop, and maximize the mentee's potential.

. . . a long term relationship with a responsibility to provide the support, knowledge, and impetus to facilitate professional success.

. . . a personal process that combines role modeling, apprenticeship, and nurturing.

. . . a process whereby an experienced, highly regarded, empathic person (the mentor) guides another individual (the mentee) in the development and examination of their own ideas, learning, and personal and professional development. The mentor, who often, but not necessarily, works in the same organization or field as the mentee, achieves this by listening and talking in confidence to the mentee.

Several functions are considered integral in the mentoring relationship: teaching, sponsoring, guidance, socialization into a profession, provision of counsel and support. Of all the functions of a mentor, the most important is to assist and facilitate in the realization of a dream.

Why Mentoring Matters

Mentoring has been shown to:

  • Promote career development and satisfaction
  • Improve success of women and underrepresented minorities in academic health careers
  • Enhance faculty productivity (mentoring is linked to increased funding and publications)
  • Increase interest in academic careers
  • Enchances probability of promotion in academia
  • Improve self efficacy in teaching, research, and professional development
  • Increase the time that clinician educators spend in scholarly activities
  • Lead to less work-family conflict

Benefits of Mentoring

Benefits for Mentees

Having a mentor and receiving more mentoring assistance is associated with more favorable objective (compensation, promotion) and subjective (career/job satisfaction) outcomes.

Benefits for Mentors

Include developing a personal support network, information and feedback from protégés, satisfaction from helping others, recognition (including accelerated promotion), and improved career satisfaction, contribute to professional advancement.

Benefits for the University

Improved faculty retention, satisfaction, and productivity. Enhanced faculty networking, collaboration, and collegiality.


Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine - Faculty Mentoring Guide

University of California, San Francisco - Faculty Mentoring Program

University of Kansas School of Medicine - Mentoring Program

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