Enhancing Mentorship in Psychiatry and Health Sciences: A Study Investigating Needs and Preferences in the Development of a Mentoring Program
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Preferences for the delivery of department-led mentorship programs are important to understanding and closing the gap between mentorship need and mentorship actualization. The objective of this paper is to, therefore, describe the perceived needs and barriers to mentorship in a postgraduate psychiatry program
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Preferences for the delivery of department-led mentorship programs are important to understanding and closing the gap between mentorship need and mentorship actualization. The objective of this paper is to, therefore, describe the perceived needs and barriers to mentorship in a postgraduate psychiatry program through separate mixed-methods surveys for psychiatry residents and health sciences faculty at a Canadian University. The surveys explored (1) the prevalence of mentorship, (2) barriers to adequate mentorship, and (3) program initiatives that could address these barriers. Qualitative responses were analyzed using an inductive analytic approach. The results of both surveys revealed that while psychiatry residents and faculty believed mentorship to be important for career success, fewer than half of residents (33%) or faculty (47%) reported receiving mentorship in the department. Residents and faculty ranked lack of exposure to mentorship, and lack of time as their top barrier to mentorship, respectively. The following components of a mentorship program were described as ideal: (1) the ability to choose one's own mentor, (2) training sessions for mentors, and (3) faculty mentoring webpage profiles to facilitate the matching of interests. Respondents suggested that mentoring program developers should foster a culture encouraging mentorship, seek mentors outside of regular program-related supervision, allow mentees to choose a mentor, and establishing structure, through aligning expectations and goal setting in mentoring relationships. There is a gap between desire for mentorship and actualization. Program developers in psychiatry medical education may choose to incorporate these findings to enhance mentorship.