Emergent Themes Regarding Facilitators of and Barriers to Effective Mentorship With Representative Quotations

ThemeRepresentative Quotations
Facilitators for mentors1: Comprehensive focus on the mentee• “…how things are going outside of just the career…looking broader in terms of how are things going at home and life…is really nice.”
• “Be very careful not to take advantage of them in terms of the classic sense, but also not to push your own ideas or agenda on them…just [be] open and supportive as long as they’re moving along a course that you think is going to be successful for them.”
• “…it is just really being invested…figuring out how you foster somebody else’s…academic career, and kind of invest in them in the same way that you’ve invested in yourself.”
2: Setting of clear expectations• “I think setting clear expectations…what they want from the relationship…setting some parameters…it’s important to provide structure to the relationship in order for it to be useful.”
3: Acknowledgment of mentors’ limitations• “I think one challenge was recognizing that I can’t mentor—that every mentee needs more than 1 mentor.”
• “…some of that’s when you are outside of your experience and you’re just not able to advise someone appropriately.”
Facilitators for mentees1: Preparation• “…if I meet with a mentee and they’re just like ‘yay. I’m here and what do you want to talk about?’ that wouldn’t be as helpful as someone who’s like, ‘I know I’m meeting with you, I have a lot of questions for you, here’s my 5-year plan and let’s go.’”
2: Proactivity• “…if you’re not reaching out and asking for help or questions or concerns, then it’s hard as a mentor to keep up that part of the effort.”
• “Be active in advocating for themselves. Don’t be afraid to sort of go find a mentor.”
3: Continual reevaluation of relationships• “If somebody is not working out, regroup and try somebody else…”
• “As you grow in your career, you may have a mentor, but you outgrow that mentor and you may need another type of mentor.”
4: Willingness to seek mentorship outside of common venues• “…and you do need to have one mentor at least from your own institution, but looking beyond your institution for mentorship is really, really important, especially in our subspecialty.”
• “There was another fellow who started at exactly the same time, and was interested in hospital medicine, and so in some respects we actually kind of mentored each other…served as peer mentors for one another.”
5: Building of a mentorship team• “Especially in pediatric hospital medicine, because we don’t have that many mentors at any given institution…I think you really need to have a group of mentors, each of them giving you advice in a specific area.”
Common barriers1: Mismatched expectations between mentor and mentee• “I think that the challenges are when there are sort of different personalities and expectations...I’m not saying mentors and mentees need to have the same personality type, but there are certain types that don’t mix as easily.”
2: Lack of available mentors in PHM• “Especially for people who are in pediatric hospital medicine, most of us haven’t had a lot of experience in leadership and administrative roles.”
• “There’s less mentorship for people who choose clinical or educational paths…other than research, and I think that’s just the way it is.”
3: Lack of time/compensation for pediatric hospital medicine mentors• “Time needs to be paid for, and in the department where the income comes from clinical revenue, there’s no built-in time for the development of people’s academic careers, their more formal relationship with mentors, that’s the down side.”
• “The challenges are just how do you find time to do this, how do you find time to do this in addition to all the other bits of the puzzles you’re trying to put together?”
4: Geographic separation between mentor and mentee• “I think not being in the same geographic location is challenging, to know people on a personal level is challenging.”
• “I work in a community hospital setting so there is sometimes sort of a geographic obstacle to developing mentors.”