Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Teach. 2005 Dec;27(8):693-8.

Junior faculty experiences with informal mentoring.

Author information

Wilson Centre for Research in Education, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Mentoring is one way in which new faculty can acquire the skills needed for a successful academic career. Little is known about how informal mentoring is operationalized in an academic setting. This study had two main objectives: (1) to determine if junior faculty identify as having an informal mentor(s) and to describe their informal mentoring relationships; and (2) to identify the areas in which these faculty seek career assistance and advice. The study employed a grounded theory approach. Subjects were recruited from the clinical teaching faculty and were 3-7 years into their first faculty position. Theoretical sampling was employed in which data analysis proceeded along-side data collection, and collection ceased when saturation of themes was reached. Saturation was reached at ten subjects. Data were collected by individual interviews. Four topics recurred: qualities sought in mentors, processes by which guidance is obtained, content of the guidance received and barriers. Faculty obtained guidance in two principal ways: (a) through collegial working relationships; and (b) through discussion with senior clinicians as part of the evaluative system in the department. Participants discussed the degree of mentoring they received in the areas of: career focus, orientation to the organization, transition of role from trainee to faculty and work/nonwork balance. Barriers identified included an evaluative role and conflict of interest on the mentor's part. Junior faculty identify some relationships from which they receive guidance; however, limitations in these relationships result in a lack of mentorship on career direction and on balancing career with personal life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center