HomeProfessionalsCareer DevelopmentFellowsInnovations in Fellowship Education2016 ▶ Impact of Group-Based Mini-Mentoring on Productivity and Satisfaction Among Fellows in Training
Impact of Group-Based Mini-Mentoring on Productivity and Satisfaction Among Fellows in Training

University of California, Davis School of Medicine
Sacramento, CA

Program Director: Brian Morrissey, MD
Type of Program: Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Abstract Authors: Brian Morrissey, MD; Elizabeth Garman, MD; Nicholas Kenyon, MD; Richart Harper, MD; and Nicholas Stollenwerk, MD

Pulmonary/critical care fellows participate in creative activities (basic, clinical, translation, and quality improvement projects) as a required portion of training and for career development. Fellows have a wide range of motivations and skills outside of the clinical skills and knowledge acquired during internal medicine residency. Success in creative activity, (as measured by satisfaction, productivity as evidenced by papers and abstracts, and subject enrollment) is variable. Assessments of fellow success in creative activity by faculty revealed several frustrations: lack of fellow commitment, low productivity, and inadequate time and research skills. Fellows, on endofyear reviews and group surveys, reported unmet needs from mentors (availability), timely feedback, project specific skills (IRB review, statistics, subject enrollment). Individual fellows and primary mentors are not uniformly aware of the array of support available (e.g., faculty expertise, statistics support, clinical research support, lab infrastructure/core facilities, and other secondary mentors). We trialed a biweekly meeting for fellows led by senior faculty for casual mentoring, critical questioning, and progress assessment. The hypothesis was that improved mentoring would improve creative success.

The sessions are led by key faulty of the fellowship program. Elements employed include senior/mid-career faculty with broad experience (clinic research, quality improvement, and lab research), fellows, progress log-book tracking project, mentor, accomplishments, short-term goals, barriers, and needs. Three faculty members share the responsibility of leading the sessions with other faculty visiting irregularly. The sessions last typically less than one hour. During the session, fellows briefly presents their project with updates. A log-book is kept recording the short-term goals, achievements, needs, barriers, and suggestions. Notes from prior sessions provide a reference point for discussions. Three to 6 fellows participate during non-hospital based activities from our 12-fellow programs.

A 6-month assessment revealed the value of these sessions. Fellows shared a mixed message exemplified by, “It’s a pain in the butt, but let’s keep doing it.” After a year, the value and characteristics of the sessions were assessed. Participating faculty contributions included directed questioning to guide toward hypothesis clarification; pre-project statistics and feasibility, particularly subject number; contacts for clinical research support (IRB, etc.); and laboratory technique/core services. Primary research mentors reported positive outcomes: an increased perception of engagement by fellows in projects and productivity. Peer-to-peer mentoring during sessions provided details on finding resources (e.g., statistician choice) and encouragement. Measure of productivity: abstracts increased from 4 to 12 over prior year.

Last Reviewed: December 2016