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The ripple effect: Faculty reflect on potential of the Lead Mentor Program

Lead_mentorsMentoring is a defining feature of academic medicine. But as our culture has grown more complex over the past few decades, and as OHSU has grown in size, many faculty members – especially junior faculty – increasingly say that the professional terrain is difficult to navigate.

The School of Medicine/OCTRI Mentoring Program is designed specifically to address this need and to give faculty more guidance on career development.

Faculty members can participate in the program in two ways. The first part is self-directed through attendance at seminars and workshops that provide an overview of key career development topics. The information about these events is posted on the Faculty Development pages on the School of Medicine website.

The second part – the Lead Mentor Program – is designed to leverage the ripple effect. Now in its second year, the program includes eleven 1.5 hour workshop sessions over a six-month period about how to be a mentor and how to facilitate mentoring in your department.

The sessions, taught by a group of multidisciplinary experts, include content presentations, facilitated group discussions, peer support and practice opportunities. The program curriculum is developed and overseen by Patrice Eiff, MD, Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Professor and Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, and Niki Steckler, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Management.

Over the past two years 26 faculty members from 20 unique departments or units across OHSU have completed the program. There is no fee; faculty members apply to the program. The program is supported by the School of Medicine Office of the Dean and OCTRI.

Applications now being accepted for September 2011 cohort. Details online.

At the conclusion of this year's program, Dean Mark Richardson, MD, MBA, recently sat down with the Lead Mentor participants to discuss the program – to evaluate its impact and to talk about ways it could possibly be enhanced to better support faculty development.

"Our goal is to support faculty success and mentoring is a key element of that success," said Dean Richardson. "We want to be sure the investments we are making in this area are meeting the needs of our faculty."

Overall, the participants were enthusiastic about the Lead Mentor Program and its potential to foster, over time, a vibrant culture of mentoring and professional support throughout OHSU. All of the participants concluded that the program had helped them to become better mentors and that they intended to seek out junior faculty, fellows, and students to mentor.

However, some remarked on the challenges of overcoming inertia or other barriers to implementing the training more broadly in their departments. Most felt that as the program continued, a critical mass of "lead mentor graduates" could help to overcome those cultural obstacles. Nevertheless, several Lead Mentors had begun to implement some informal initiatives and discussions in their departments.

The program is now accepting applications for participation in the third cohort to begin in September 2011. Applications are due June 30. The application details can be found online.

Learn more on the Faculty Development pages on the School of Medicine website.

The 2011 Lead Mentors Cohort

Ansgar Brambrink, MD
Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, School of Medicine

Tom Gregory, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine

Jeanne-Marie Guise, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine

Dena Hassouneh, ANP, PMHNP, PhD, APRN-BC
Associate Professor, Academic Graduate & Interdisciplinary Program, School of Nursing

Kim Jones, PhD, FNP-BC, RN
Associate Professor, Academic Graduate & Interdisciplinary Program, School of Nursing

Karen Kwong, MD
Clerkship Director/Associate Residency Program Director, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine

Kathie Lasater, EdD, RN, ANEF
Associate Professor, Undergraduate Program, School of Nursing

Wolfram Laub, PhD, MBA
Associate Director of Medical Physics, Department of Radiation Medicine, School of Medicine

Rosemary McPharlin, DDS
Assistant Professor, Operative Dentistry, School of Dentistry

Ilhem Messaoudi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, School of Medicine

Heidi Nelson, MD, MPH
Research Professor, Departments of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology and Medicine, School of Medicine

Michael Recht, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, School of Medicine

Elizabeth Steiner, MD
Director, Breast Health Education Program, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine

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