Brenda G. Fahy, M.D., MCCM, Cyndi Garvan, Ph.D., and Terrie Vasilopoulos, Ph.D., have earned the Consultant Certification from the International Mentoring Association (IMA) as they seek to expand and study a formalized mentoring program in the department.
The IMA is the only entity offering credentialing to mentoring consultants and trainers who have demonstrated commitment to the mentoring field, noteworthy services to mentoring programs and program leaders, and knowledge of mentoring best practices and research. IMA-certified consultants and trainers must meet rigorous criteria.
The Department of Anesthesiology’s Mentoring Program
Fahy and Garvan, both professors of anesthesiology, and Vasilopoulos, assistant professor of anesthesiology, have been involved in mentoring roles throughout their careers. They are the program managers of the department’s Faculty Mentoring Program, which consists of assigning new faculty a mentor when they join the department. The department provides structure and incentives for this mentoring.
To improve the existing mentoring program, Fahy, Garvan, and Vasilopoulos participated in several professional development activities including training offered by the IMA. Through IMA interactions, they recognized the value of the IMA certification for mentoring consultants. After receiving certification on June 9, they are now in the design phase of improving the department’s mentoring program.
Importance of Faculty Mentoring
Faculty mentoring in academic medicine is critical to professional development and success. Studies have shown that mentoring programs lead to improved skills, career satisfaction, promotion rates, and faculty retention. Yet, mentoring for academic faculty has been understudied in the field of anesthesiology.
The revised department program will incorporate aspects gleaned from a comprehensive review of the literature. The first step will be to develop a mentor academy for senior faculty to train mentors for junior faculty. The faculty development training program will include several modalities and be evaluated to measure satisfaction and effectiveness.
After the first cohort of mentors has completed training, the next step will be implementing a more formal mentoring program. The goal is for mentees to have a mentoring team, with a primary mentor along with others (including biostatistics faculty, physician scientists, and established educators) who can support the breadth of the mentee’s professional development and needs. Fahy, Garvan, and Vasilopoulos plan to collect both short- and long-term metrics to assess the program’s success.