Background: Mentoring is considered a fundamental component of career success and satisfaction in academic medicine. However, there is no national standard for faculty mentoring in academic emergency medicine (EM) and a paucity of literature on the subject. Objectives: The objective was to conduct a descriptive study of faculty mentoring programs and practices in academic departments of EM. Methods: An electronic survey instrument was sent to 135 department chairs of EM in the United States. The survey queried faculty demographics, mentoring practices, structure, training, expectations, and outcome measures. Chi-square and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to compare metrics of mentoring effectiveness (i.e., number of publications and National Institutes of Health [NIH] funding) across mentoring variables of interest. Results: Thirty-nine of 135 departments completed the survey, with a heterogeneous mix of faculty classifications. While only 43.6% of departments had formal mentoring programs, many augmented faculty mentoring with project or skills-based mentoring (66.7%), peer mentoring (53.8%), and mentoring committees (18%). Although the majority of departments expected faculty to participate in mentoring relationships, only half offered some form of mentoring training. The mean number of faculty publications per department per year was 52.8, and 11 departments fell within the top 35 NIH-funded EM departments. There was an association between higher levels of perceived mentoring success and both higher NIH funding (p = 0.022) and higher departmental publications rates (p = 0.022). In addition, higher NIH funding was associated with mentoring relationships that were assigned (80%), self-identified (20%), or mixed (22%; p = 0.026). Conclusions: Our findings help to characterize the variability of faculty mentoring in EM, identify opportunities for improvement, and underscore the need to learn from other successful mentoring programs. This study can serve as a basis to share mentoring practices and stimulate conversation around strategies to improve faculty mentoring in EM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine