Montefiore Einstein Department of Medicine

Selected Annotated References for Mentoring


  1. Lee, A et al. 2007. Nature’s guide for mentors. Nature; 447, 791-979. PMID: 17568738.
    This paper provides an introduction to what makes a successful mentor relationship, including a general outline of skills and attributes of good mentors, with a self-assessment question at the end in these attributes. It is geared toward the scientists/lab mentor with many ideas applicable broadly, some more science specific activities less so.
  2. Straus SE, Johnson MO, Marquez C, Feldman MD. Characteristics of Successful and Failed Mentoring Relationships: A Qualitative Study Across Two Academic Health Centers. Acad Med. 2013;88:82-89.
    A qualitative study of faculty members at the University of California at San Francisco or the University of Toronto revealed that successful mentoring relationships were characterized by reciprocity, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connection, and shared values. Failed mentoring relationships were characterized by poor communication, lack of commitment, personality differences, competition, conflicts of interest, and the mentor's lack of experience.

Finding a Mentor

  1. Thorndyke, LE et al. 2009. Find a Functional Mentor. Academic Physician and Scientist; 4-5.
    Acknowledging the difficulty many junior faculty in academic medicine experience in finding a traditional mentor, the authors propose a new model of mentoring that focuses on matching a junior faculty member with specific needs and a mentor with the specific skills that meet those needs. They emphasize that a request for time-limited mentoring around a specific skill or area of focus is more likely to be considered by busy senior faculty.
  2. Bettmann, M. 2009. Choosing a Research Project and a Research Mentor. Circulation; 119, 1832-1835. PMID: 19349336.
    This article provides some general guidelines in choosing a research project and outlines characteristics of a successful mentee: being clear about the kind of help needed; recognizing the possible need for multiple mentors; being able to accept feedback; making a commitment to the mentoring relationship.

Mentoring Approaches

  1. Pololi, L et al. 2005. Mentoring Faculty in Academic Medicine A New Paradigm? JGIM; 20(9), 866-870. PMID: 16117759.
    The authors review the benefits and risks of mentoring and compare two models of mentoring programs they designed and implemented: a formal dyadic Personal Mentoring Program (PMP) and a Collaborative Mentoring Program (CMP), a facilitated group peer mentoring and skill development experience. The latter program, modeled on adult learning theory and other theories of adult development, offered significant benefits not often provided by traditional dyadic mentoring, including empowerment, the absence of a power differential, and the availability of multiple areas of expertise.
  2. Thorndyke, LE et al. 2008. Functional Mentoring: A Practical Approach With Multilevel Outcomes. J Contin Educ Health Prof; 28(3), 157-64. PMID: 18712800.
    The authors present an evaluation of the outcomes of their functional mentoring program, a practical approach that emphasizes measurable results centered around the mentee’s project. They found that the focused time-limited mentoring relationships fostered in the program resulted in the enhancement of specific skills (e.g., writing grant proposals, etc.) and the completion of projects meaningful to the career goals of the mentees.

How to be a Mentor 

  1. Cho CS, RamananRA, Feldman MD. 2011. Defining the Ideal Qualities of Mentorship: A Qualitative Analysis of the Characteristics of Outstanding Mentors. The American Journal of Medicine; 124:453-458. PMID: 21531235.
    In a qualitative study of nomination letters for a mentorship award, the objective was to identify important qualities of outstanding mentors as described by their mentees. Investigators concluded that good mentors should exhibit admirable personal qualities, act as career guides, make time commitments, support personal and professional balance, and role model good mentoring.
  2. Wasserstein AG, Quistberg A, Shea JA. Mentoring at the University of Pennsylvania: Results of a Faculty Survey. J Gen Intern Med. 2007; 22:210-214.
    A cross-sectional mail survey was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  Satisfaction with mentoring was correlated with the number of types of mentoring received, job satisfaction, meeting frequency, and expectation of leaving the University within five years. 

How to be a Mentee

  1. Zerzan JT, Hess R, Schur E, Phillips S, Rigotti N. Making the Most of Mentors: A Guide for Mentees. Acad Med 2009; 84:140-144.
    This paper provides guidance to mentees forging critically important mentor/mentee relationships. The authors apply "managing up," a corporate concept, to academic medical settings to promote effective, successful mentoring. Managing up means the mentee takes ownership of the relationship by guiding and facilitating the mentor's efforts to create a satisfying and productive relationship for both parties. The authors propose specific strategies for mentee success.

Mentoring for Clinician Educators

  1. Farrell SF. Digioia NM. Broderick KB. Coates WC. Mentoring for Clinician-Educators. Academic Emergency Medicine. 11:1346-1350, 2004.
    This paper provides an overview of mentoring issues as they relate to clinician educators as different than clinician-researchers.  It includes table delineating the process of thinking about, pursuing and optimally utilizing a mentor and mentor relationship. The authors suggest a web-based mentoring network for drop-in mentoring and questions, which has not been operationalized.

Effectiveness of Mentoring

  1. M. D. Feldman, P. A. Arean, S. J. Marshall, M. Lovett, and P. O’Sullivan. Does mentoring matter: results from a survey of faculty mentees at a large health sciences university. Med Educ.Online. 15, 2010. PMID: 20431710.
    A survey of prospective junior faculty members at the University of California at San Francisco showed that more than half of respondents reported having a mentor. Having a mentor was associated with greater satisfaction with time allocation at work and with higher academic self-efficacy scores compared with those without a mentor.
  2. Wingard DL. Garman KA. Reznik V. Facilitating faculty success: outcomes and cost benefit of the UCSD National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine. [Journal Article] Academic Medicine. 79(10 Suppl):S9-11, 2004.
    Participants in a structured mentoring program for junior faulty at the University of California at San Diego were surveyed and the beginning and end of the seven-month program, and one to four years later.  Of the 67 participants, 85% remained at UCSD and 93% in academic medicine. Their confidence in skills needed for academic success (personal leadership, research, teaching administration) improved.  Given the improved retention rates observed in this study the authors conclude that structured mentoring can be a cost-effective way to improve skills needed for academic success and retention in academic medicine.


  1. Beech BM, Calles-Escandon J, Hairston KG, Langdon SE, Latham-Sadler BA, Bell RA. Mentoring programs for underrepresented minority faculty in academic medical centers: a systematic review of the literature. Acad Med. 2013;88:541-549. 
  2. Bickel, J et al. 2002. Increasing Women’s Leadership in Academic Medicine: Report of the AAMC Project Implementation Committee. Acad Med; 77(10), 1043-61. PMID: 12377686. 
  3. Cora-Bramble D., Zhang K, Castillo-Page L. 2010. Minority Faculty Members’ Resilience and Academic Productivity: Are They Related? Acad Med; 85(9),1492-1498. PMID: 20453809. 
  4. Kalet, AL et al. 2006. Defining, Navigating, and Negotiating Success The Experiences of Mid-Career Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Women. J Gen Intern Med; 21, 920-925. PMID: 16918735. 
  5. Mahoney, M et al. 2008. Minority Faculty Voices on Diversity in Academic Medicine: Perspectives From One School. Acad Med; 83, 781-786. PMID: 18667896. 
  6. Morahan, Page S. “Women Helping Women to Advance in Academic Health Centers.” SELAM International News. Autumn 2004. Vol 7(2):19-20.
  7. Thomas, D. 2001. The truth about mentoring minorities. Race matters. HBR; 97(4), 98-107, 168. PMID: 11299697. 
  8. Viets, V et al. 2009. Reducing Health Disparities Through a Culturally Centered Mentorship Program for Minority Faculty: The Southwest Addictions Research Group (SARG) Experience. Acad Med; 84(8), 1118-26. PMID: 19638783. 
  9. Wong, E et al. 2001. Promoting the Advancement of Minority Women Faculty in Academic Medicine: The National Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health. J Womens Health and Gender-based Medicine; 10(6), 541-50. PMID: 11559451. 
Click here to log in