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Fam Med. 2011 Mar;43(3):193-7.

Issues important to the research mentoring relationship.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA. katerndahl@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Family medicine lacks a critical mass of experienced, federally funded researchers to serve as research mentors for young investigators. The purpose of this study was to identify issues important when mentoring junior investigators.

METHODS:

Eight experienced primary care investigators, known for their excellence in mentorship, were recruited from the Primary Care Research Methods and Statistics Conference. After participation in a focus group exploring issues related to the quality, techniques, effectiveness, and efficiency of mentorship, subjects completed three rounds of Delphi using variables identified during the focus group to develop a comprehensive, stable list of 72 mentoring strategies.

RESULTS:

Five items received perfect ratings of agreement: (1) primary task to help protégé identify long-term goals and strategize to meet them, (2) difference exists between mentoring and collaboration, (3) assigning mentor is not a guarantee that the relationship will work, (4) mentor can provide expertise and encouragement but not ensure a desired outcome, and (5) mentor who does not care about the protégé is not likely to be effective. The strategies with which the mentors disagreed included mentor-protégé characteristics and differences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mentors emphasized the importance of long-term goals, difference between mentorship and collaboration, and commitment from the mentor.

PMID:
21380952
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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