Perceptions of the Professional Development Value of Honorary Fellowship Award Experiences
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Professional societies engage in activities with the aim of nurturing highly talented early career members of their field. Little is known about the value of honorary fellowship awards given annually by professional societies. Following up on the only known prior study of this topic, authors queried fellowship awardees in one psychiatric society to better understand the perceived value of honorary fellowships and other outcomes, such as subsequent involvement in professional societies.
The authors queried former participants in the Laughlin and Psychiatry Resident-In-Training Examination® (PRITE®) Programs regarding their fellowship experiences and their subsequent involvement in The American College of Psychiatrists and other psychiatry membership organizations. The authors obtained frequency data and analyzed responses using t-tests and chi-squared tests. Associations between the outcomes and demographic characteristics such as age, gender, and fellowship type was tested.
Responses were gathered from 143 individuals who had participated in the Laughlin Fellowship and 22 in the PRITE Fellowship. Respondents felt that that the fellowship experience had been helpful professionally. Laughlin fellows were older and more likely to have assumed a leadership role in professional organizations (60 % vs 36 %, p = 0.04). Laughlin fellows also more strongly endorsed professional recognition as a benefit at the time of receiving their award. Survey respondents reported increased participation in professional organizations and assumed leadership roles in The College and other professional organizations subsequent to the fellowship experience.
On the whole, fellows were generally positive about their experiences. Many respondents became involved with The College subsequent to their fellowship, but a larger proportion became involved with other organizations, including in leadership roles. Professional societies with early career programs such as the Laughlin Fellowship and the PRITE Fellowship appear to identify and support future leaders as intended, but these leaders may engage more with other professional societies.
KeywordsFellowships Mentoring Professional development
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Craig Samuels is employed by the American College of Psychiatrists. The other authors have no disclosures.
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