Background: Mentorship and sponsorship (a relationship of professional support and endorsement), are essential avenues for professional success, combatting burnout, and improving equity and representation of women and URMs in medicine. Unfortunately, traditional measures of mentorship quality and success are one-dimensional and are of limited value; academic medicine rarely teaches menteeship or mentorship skills, relies on assessments by inexperienced mentees, and fails to incorporate nuanced qualitative and quantitative metrics. In this study, we applied human-centered design, research techniques to characterize mentee experiences with mentors and sponsors using ethnographic and quantitative methods.

Purpose: Measuring mentorship efficacy and impact on equity in medical education using mixed-methods research.

Description: This facility-wide human centered design project was geared towards revamping our graduate medical education mentorship program, sponsored through a grant from the Society of Hospital Medicine, and virtually facilitated by the Better Lab at UCSF. We gathered data using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews about experience as mentees from a diverse sample of physicians in an academic medicine: medical students, residents, chiefs, attending physicians, and senior administrators. Qualitative data was analyzed using a grounded-theory approach and combined with quantitative data on burnout, resilience, and academic productivity.

Conclusions: Key findings from our data included a) 3.2/5 rating of overall mentoring experience, but 43% rejected their assigned mentor as an active mentor. b) 56% could not differentiate sponsorship from mentorship. c) 79.55% wanted additional mentors, but only 43% would actively seek out opportunities to improve their mentee skills. d) Female respondents had a lower number of active mentors, 2.7 per mentee, than male respondents , 2.9 per mentee, despite 57% of respondents identifying as female. This indicates that gender diversity within our program may not be correlating with mentorship equity provided by our institution.