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Acad Med. 2006 Mar;81(3):275-9.

The POD: a new model for mentoring underrepresented minority faculty.

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  • 1Center for Diversity Affairs, UAMS College of Medicine, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


Mentoring, long recognized as a catalyst for successful careers, is particularly important to the career development of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty. In academic medicine, mentor-protégé relationships are seriously threatened by increased clinical, research, and administrative demands and an emphasis on scholarship over citizenship. New mentoring models are needed, and they should be adaptable to a medical school's unique structure and mission. The Peer-Onsite-Distance (POD) model, developed in 2002 by the authors and introduced at the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, is a targeted, multilevel mentoring prototype that is built on a solid research foundation and tailored to the unique needs of URM medical school faculty. The mentee's individual needs for guidance related to career goals, resources, and the content and interaction skills that are known to be critical to successful academic careers are targeted for development. The multilevel approach provides a unique network of peer and faculty mentors who provide site-specific career guidance. Also in the network are leaders in their fields who can provide access to accurate information, cautions, predictions, and announcements of future resources or potential restrictions in academic medicine. Mentor commitments are clearly defined and time contributions are maximized. The POD model aims to promote retention and advance the careers of URM faculty by wrapping them in a protective cushion of interpersonal and intrapersonal support. The flexibility of the design allows for adaptation to any institution's unique structure and mission.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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