Friday, June 26, 2015

Continuing Medical Education in Pediatrics: Motivation, Attitudes, and Learning Strategies

Raymond Baker, MD, MEd
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Background: Mentorship in academic medicine is a rapidly evolving entity.  There is a growing body of research in the medical literature, as well as higher education, business, and management literature that points out the breadth and depth of mentorship required to navigate in the workplace of today.  Unfortunately there is very little understanding of the specific roles of mentors in academic medicine, or any standardized tools for measuring  the experience of mentorship among junior faculty.

Aims: The aim of this project was to adapt a survey instrument to assess the desired functions of a formal mentor in an academic medical setting. This pilot study included 196 junior faculty at a major academic teaching hospital. Specifically this study examines the functions of formally assigned mentors, and their role in supporting junior faculty.

Methods: A thorough review of the mentorship literature, both within and beyond medicine was conducted.  From this review an instrument focusing on mentorship functions was identified.  This instrument was examined through a series of focus groups, and an expert review panel.  Based on the information collected, the pilot tool was developed and administered in an electronic, web-based format to all junior faculty within the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Pediatrics. 

Results: The survey instrument appears, preliminarily, to be a valid and reliable tool.  Factor analysis supports a highly coherent, unidimentional model of mentorship.  Assessment of reliability of the instrument using Cronbach’s alpha supports a high degree of internal consistency.   

Conclusions:  Although the MMI has not yet been subjected to full-scale testing, and there were some shortcomings of this study, analysis of the data gathered thus far indicates that this tool may be useful for the assessment of expectations of mentorship in the academic medicine.