Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Checklist for the Development of Faculty Mentorship Programs

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Checklist for the Development of Faculty Mentorship Programs

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Formal mentoring has been associated with improved faculty job satisfaction, increased commitment, reductions in faculty turnover, greater productivity, and a favorable "departmental ethos." (1) Alternatively, lack of mentoring has been associated with faculty isolation, stress, burnout, and turnover. (2) Traditionally, mentoring has been focused at the junior faculty level where orientation to academic life, career planning, and promotion are vital elements. However, the need for mentoring has been identified at every step of an academic career, including for midlevel faculty members who are looking to expand their portfolios and be promoted to professor; and senior faculty members who may want to transition to academic administration or rejuvenate their research profiles. (3) There is also an identified need for mentoring based on category of profile (teaching/scholarship/clinical service). Hence, there is a definite need for a plan to incorporate these different types and levels of mentoring.

The AACP Joint Councils Task Force on Mentoring (2012-2013) was charged to determine: (1) the needs and responsibilities for mentors and proteges at all faculty levels; (2) what mentoring pieces are in existence, need improvement, or need to be created; and (3) how effective mentoring is defined and could be measured. Given the diversity of mentoring programs and levels previously identified, a template for mentoring programs was needed. This template evolved into a checklist for faculty mentoring in academic pharmacy programs. A "cookie cutter" approach to mentorship would not work in most cases as all mentors and proteges are not the same in their goals and approach. Thus, this checklist is intended to serve as a resource to pharmacy colleges and schools that are considering a faculty mentorship program, as well as those who are interested in implementing a faculty mentorship program and would like some resources, and those who would like to modify an existing program. The proposed checklist would need to be easily modifiable for different types and levels of mentoring. The primary objectives of this paper are to present recommendations based on findings from a comprehensive literature review and to describe the development of a checklist that can be used to establish, implement, or modify academic pharmacy mentoring programs.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Following a conference call to plan a strategy for addressing the charges, 2-person teams of task force members conducted independent literature reviews within and outside of the pharmacy literature using PubMed and ERIC databases to research the following: (1) definition and areas of mentorship, (2) formal vs informal mentorship, (3) internal vs external mentors and multiple mentors, (4) resources needed for mentoring programs, (5) stages of mentoring, (6) criteria for assessment of mentoring programs, and (7) best practices in existence of mentoring programs. Keywords used for the searches included: academic mentoring, mentoring mentorship, mentoring program, formal mentorship outcomes, efficacy, evaluation, assessment, tool, scale, measure, success, resource, and best practices.

Each task force team then wrote a narrative on their assigned area. The narratives were subsequently reviewed by the entire task force for content, readability, and redundancy. A summary of the narrative in each reviewed category is presented, followed by a recommendation.

Based on their findings from the comprehensive literature review, the task force developed a checklist that outlined the 5 steps for developing a mentorship program in the order in which they typically are considered, ie, intent, structure, process, resources, assessment and evaluation (Appendix 1). The 5 steps should not be considered in isolation but rather all 5 are interrelated and should inform the design of the program. To help users remember these 5 steps, the authors used the first letter of each step to form the acronym PAIRS, ie, Process, Assessment and evaluation, Intent, Resources, Structure. …

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