Background: The field of hospital medicine has grown rapidly since its inception over 20 years ago. In addition to providing vital clinical care, many hospitalists are also engaged in (or interested in pursuing) academic activities such as quality improvement (QI), medical education, clinical research, informatics and innovation, and global health. Mentorship from more senior academic hospitalists is essential both to promote individual faculty development and to maintain critical contributions to the field.
Purpose: To develop and implement a hospital medicine unit (HMU) mentoring program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a 740-bed tertiary care referral hospital employing 76 hospitalists.
Description: Eligible members of HMU, including any hospitalist with a planned career in hospital medicine, were surveyed on areas seeking/offering mentorship (i.e., foci of academic interest, sponsorship, work/life balance, promotion, etc.). Based on survey results, 2 distinct mentorship programs were created: (1) Traditional mentor-mentee program, including 28 mentor-mentee pairs involving 44 faculty members, who were paired based on survey responses, and (2) Peer-to-peer mentoring program focused solely on academic promotion, including 13 peer-to-peer mentors and 4 faculty facilitators. Participants were recommended to meet with their mentor/mentee quarterly and were provided with suggested meeting content. Throughout the academic year we conducted faculty development sessions on mentors/mentee expectations, criteria for promotion, among other content. Participants were surveyed about satisfaction with mentorship at baseline and 1 year after implementation, as well as meeting frequency, barriers and facilitators to meeting, and meeting content. The response rate was 75% for traditional program participants and 61.5% for promotion program participants. Including both programs, overall hospitalist participation in mentorship increased from 57.1% at baseline to 85% after 1 year. Satisfaction with mentorship increased from 39.1% at baseline to 90.5% for traditional program participants and to 75% for promotion program participants after implementation. Of 28 pairs, 20 (71.4%) met 1-4 times during the year and most (66.7%) were satisfied with frequency of meetings. Mentor/mentee busyness was cited as the most common barrier to meeting, and more administrative support for meetings was the most frequently suggested facilitator.
Conclusions: We successfully implemented a mentoring program tailored to the needs of our hospital medicine unit. Overall satisfaction with mentorship increased substantially for participants in both the traditional mentoring program and the promotion-focused program. Participant feedback about barriers and facilitators to mentoring meetings will be used to improve the program moving forward (i.e., increasing administrative support, dedicated time for mentoring). We also plan to measure the impact of the program on academic promotion and scholarly output.