The aims of this study were to (1) describe the quantity and quality of mentoring faculty in US academic health centers (AHCs), (2) measure associations between mentoring and 12 dimensions that reflect the culture of AHCs, and (3) assess whether mentoring predicts seriously contemplating leaving one's institution.
During 2007-2009, our National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine (C - Change) conducted a cross-sectional study of faculty from 26 representative AHCs in the United States using the 74-item C - Change Faculty Survey to assess relationships of faculty characteristics and various aspects of the institutional culture (52% response rate). Among the 2178 eligible respondents (assistant, associate, and full professors), we classified their mentoring experience as either inadequate, neutral, or positive.
In this national sample, 43% of the 2178 respondents had inadequate mentoring; only 30% had a positive assessment of mentoring. There was no statistical difference by sex, minority status, or rank. Inadequate mentoring was most strongly associated with less institutional support, lower self-efficacy in career advancement, and lower scores on the trust/relationship/inclusion scale. The percent of faculty who had seriously considered leaving their institution was highest among those who had inadequate mentoring (58%), compared to those who were neutral (28%) or had positive mentoring (14%) (all paired comparisons, p < .001).
In a national survey of faculty of US AHCs, mentoring was frequently inadequate and this was associated with faculty contemplating leaving their institutions. Positive mentoring, although less prevalent, was associated with many other positive dimensions of AHCs.