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SheMD Journal Club: "Will you be my mentor?"

Here at sheMD, we believe in the importance of practicing Evidence-Based Medicine. We believe the same principles apply to discussing Gender and Medical Education. Therefore, we are bringing you an entire Journal Club series! Our series will focus on foundational and new literature within the gender and medicine space.

Today, we will be discussing the article entitled, "Will you be my mentor?- Four Archetypes to Help Mentees Succeed in Academic Medicine?"

Why is this article important?

-Mentorship is viewed as a vital part of medical education and academic medicine as a whole. Prior studies have shown that physicians who participate in mentoring are more likely to publish, receive grants, get promoted, and have greater career satisfaction overall.

Article Summary

What they looked at: This study discusses alternative mentorship patterns and how they can help advance your career.

How they measured things: They detailed four different mentorship models: a traditional model, a coach, a sponsor, and a connector.

What were their outcomes:

  • The Traditional Mentor- the "Professional Parent” is a formal, dynamic and reciprocal relationship in a work environment aimed at promoting the career growth of both.

  • The Coach- the "Performance Improver" is focused on performance improvement. Coaches spend less time with mentees and provide feedback to a larger number of individuals.

  • The Sponsor- the "Program/Project/Person Promoter" is based in power- where the sponsor use their influence in a field to make sponsee more visible.

  • The Connector- the "Pair Producer" is based on connecting individuals with similar goals. Connectors use their social and political power to connect, and are less invested in individual mentee’s success.

Why do we care about this article?

What does this mean?

A successful mentoring relationship can have a variety of models. In academic medicine, mentees benefit from input from all types of mentors and may have multiple mentors at once.

How does this apply to us?

Knowing that different mentorship models exist can not only help trainees quantify what they are looking for, but it can also help faculty members who are looking to help trainees succeed.

Take Home Point

As the article puts it, when “the mentor guides, the coach improves, the sponsor nominates, and the connector empowers, but always the mentee benefits.”

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