“Biomedical Workforce Diversity: The Context for Mentoring to Develop Talents and Foster Success Within the ‘Pipeline’”
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- McGee, R. AIDS Behav (2016) 20(Suppl 2): 231. doi:10.1007/s10461-016-1486-7
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Like all biomedical research fields, AIDS research needs the broadest diversity of experiences and perspectives among researchers in the field if creative advancements are to be achieved. Mentors and mentoring are the most important vehicles by which the talents of young scientists are developed. However, mentoring as a teaching and learning paradigm is very complex and idiosyncratic, and often inadvertently fails to provide the same quality and quantity of opportunity to aspiring scientists who are ‘different’ from those doing the mentoring. This article provides a theoretical and practical framework for understanding how differences of race, ethnicity, gender, skin color, social status and other identifiable characteristics can play into scientific development during mentoring ‘within the pipeline’. It also serves as a foundation upon which mentoring in AIDS is considered by subsequent papers in this series. Finally, it goes beyond mentoring to propose systematic coaching as an effective complement to research mentoring to promote success, especially for individuals from underrepresented groups.