Background: The charge of the Society of Hospital Medicine’s (SHM) Physicians in Training (PIT) Committee is to enhance medical student and resident engagement in the practice of hospital medicine and to prepare trainees and early-career hospitalists for key transitions in their hospital medicine careers. The SHM Resident and Student Special Interest Group (SIG) aims to “access unique mentorship opportunities with hospital medicine thought leaders.” Effective mentorship experiences positively impact trainees’ career choices and interest in academic medicine (1,2). Recognizing an opportunity to align our groups’ goals, the authors developed a structured mentorship initiative between the PIT Committee and the Resident and Student SIG.
Purpose: We aimed to increase mentees’ interest in hospital medicine as a subspecialty career and to enhance all participants’ sense of engagement in SHM.
Description: We performed a targeted needs assessment within our two groups which confirmed a mutual interest in a mentorship initiative. Specifically, it identified career advancement, leadership, scholarship, and peer networking within hospital medicine as key areas of interest for resident and medical student mentees. From these findings, we developed three objectives for our mentorship initiative pilot: illustrate the hospitalist lifestyle, enumerate the academic and leadership opportunities unique to hospital medicine, and assist mentees in their transition to the role of resident or attending physician. To accomplish these objectives, we developed a unique mentorship framework. Our design standardized mentor-mentee encounters, incorporated mentorship best practices, and reinforced longitudinal participation. We proposed quarterly encounters, each with a specific theme and suggested talking points to facilitate discussion. The first meeting provided space for introductions and expectations, the second meeting illustrated the hospitalist lifestyle, the third meeting elaborated on academic opportunities in hospital medicine, and the fourth meeting focused on career advice and determining the future of the mentor-mentee relationship (Figure 1). Twelve PIT Committee mentors were paired with Resident and Student SIG mentees. Mentor-mentee pairs were expected to meet virtually for 30 minutes every quarter. Mentees were charged with initiating contact with their assigned mentor, and each mentor-mentee pair agreed on meeting times. A mentorship director from the PIT Committee oversaw the initiative. At the end of the pilot, participants completed an evaluation survey.
Conclusions: The PIT Committee piloted a mentorship initiative with the Resident and Student SIG that was well-received amongst participants. All mentors and mentees reported that the initiative enhanced their engagement in SHM. Mentees agreed that the initiative increased their interest in hospital medicine as a subspecialty and helped prepare them for their upcoming transition to resident or attending physician. Based on qualitative feedback, we believe the initiative was successful due its unique framework, which included meeting themes, suggested talking points, and an email reminder system. Our next steps include replication of the initiative for the 2020-2021 academic year and dissemination of the framework to SHM chapter leaders to build a scalable program available to all SHM members in the years to come.