Gaps in Mentorship and Impact on Scholarship Among Academic Hospitalists

1University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
2Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, CO
3University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
4Oregon Health &
Science University, Portland, OR
5University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
6University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2009, May 14-17, Chicago, Ill.

Abstract number: 70


Previous studies suggest academic physicians with adequate mentorship conduct more research, write more papers, and are more likely to mentor others. Given the youth of their field, hospitalists may not appreciate or experience the benefits of mentorship yet have expectations for scholarly pursuit.


To better understand hospitalist experiences with mentors, we performed a cross‐sectional e‐mail survey of 420 academic hospitalists at 17 large academic hospital medicine programs in all regions of the country. We asked respondents whether they had a mentor, defining mentorship as “a dynamic, reciprocal relationship between an advanced career incumbent (the mentor) and a junior person (the protege) aimed at fostering the development of the protege.” We compared those with mentors to those without using muitivariable models examining the effects of mentorship on academic scholarship and productivity.


Two hundred and sixty‐six respondents completed the survey (63%). Fifty‐four percent of respondents were male, 82% worked al a university hospital, and the majority were 40 years of age or younger (80%), with more than half in academic medicine fewer than 5 years. One and hundred twelve (42%) reported having at least 1 mentor. Mentors were most often male (76%) and 41– 50 years old (50%). Although most hospitalists' mentors were internists (84%), only 52% of mentors were hospitalists. Thirty‐one percent mentored others. Of those with mentors, 22 (20%) had their mentor assigned to them. Thirty‐nine (35%) had less than a 2‐year working relationship with their primary mentor; the majority (57%) had fewer than 4 meetings a year, and 57% reported the average mentoring meeting lasted less than 45 minutes. Few (25%) felt the value of mentoring was less than “excellent” or “very good” in their career development. Enthusiasm for mentoring (97%), ability to give career advice (95%) or inspire the mentee (93%), and professional reputation (87%) were rated as important or highly important mentor traits. Providing emotional support was rated less highly as a preferred mentor trait (61%). Compared to those without mentors, those with mentors considered mentors to be a highly important source for career advice (70% vs. 52%, P = 0.01) and more important to a successful career in academic medicine (63% vs. 44%, P = 0.009). Absence of a mentor was associated with fewer peer‐reviewed first‐author publications (adjusted odds 0.43, 95% Cl 0.23,0.81), non‐peer‐reviewed publications (0.45,95% Cl 0.24, 0.83), and experiences leading a teaching session at a national meeting (0.41,95% Cl 0.19, 0.88).


Nearly all academic hospitalists surveyed report mentoring as important to their academic success, yet fewer than half reported having a mentor; with those without a mentor achieving less academic productivity than those with a mentor. Although increasing the availability of mentoring may speed the development and productivity of academic hospitalists, it is also possible that academic hospitalists may not fully appreciate the benefits of mentorship.

Author Disclosure:

G. J. Misky, none; M. B. Reid, none; J. J. Glasheen, none; R. A. Harrison, none; B. Sharpe, none; A. Auerbach, none.

To cite this abstract:

Misky G, Reid M, Glasheen J, Harrison R, Sharpe B, Auerbach A. Gaps in Mentorship and Impact on Scholarship Among Academic Hospitalists. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2009, May 14-17, Chicago, Ill. Abstract 70. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2009; 4 (suppl 1). Accessed April 1, 2020.

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