Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 761–767 | Cite as

Perceptions of the Professional Development Value of Honorary Fellowship Award Experiences

  • Laura Weiss Roberts
  • Jane Paik KimEmail author
  • Craig Samuels
  • Daniel Winstead
Empirical Report



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.


Fellowships Mentoring Professional development 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


Craig Samuels is employed by the American College of Psychiatrists. The other authors have no disclosures.


  1. 1.
    Calman K. The profession of medicine. BMJ. 1994;309(6962):1140–3.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cruess RL, Cruess SR, Steinert Y, editors. Teaching medical professionalism. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2008.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Irvine D. The doctors’ tale: professionalism and public trust. Radcliffe Publishing; 2003.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kass LR. Professing ethically: on the place of ethics in defining medicine. JAMA. 1983;249(10):1305–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ludmerer KM. Instilling professionalism in medical education. JAMA. 1999;282(9):881.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McCullough LB. Taking the history of medical ethics seriously in teaching medical professionalism. Am J Bioeth. 2004;4(2):13–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Roberts LW, Reicherter D. Professionalism and ethics in medicine. New York: Springer; 2014.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Roberts LW, Warner TD, Horwitz MR, McCarty T, Roberts B. Honorary fellowship awards and professional development in psychiatry. Acad Psychiatry. 1999;23(4):210–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Borus JF. How to be good mentor. In: Roberts LW, editor. The academic medicine handbook: a guide to achievement and fulfillment for academic faculty. New York: Springer; 2013. p. 163–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Worley LM, Borus JF, Hilty DM. Being a good mentor and colleague. In: Roberts LW, Hilty DM, editors. Handbook of career development in academic psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing Inc; 2007. p. 293–8.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Palepu A, Friedman RH, Barnett RC, Carr PL, Ash AS, Szalacha L, et al. Junior faculty members’ mentoring relationships and their professional development in U.S. medical schools. Acad Med. 1998;73(3):318–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sambunjak D, Straus SF, Marusic A. Mentoring in academic medicine: a systematic review. JAMA. 2006;296:1103–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Steiner JF, Curtis P, Lanphear BP, Vu KO, Main DS. Assessing the role of influential mentors in the research development of primary care fellows. Acad Med. 2004;79(9):865–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Levinson W, Kaufman K, Clark B, Tolle SW. Mentors and role models for women in academic medicine. West J Med. 1991;154(4):423–6.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Becker A, Yager J. How to approach mentorship as a mentee. In: Roberts LW, editor. The academic medicine handbook: a guide to achievement and fulfillment for academic faculty. New York: Springer; 2013. p. 157–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Weiss Roberts
    • 1
  • Jane Paik Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Craig Samuels
    • 2
  • Daniel Winstead
    • 3
  1. 1.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.The American College of PsychiatristsChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Tulane University School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations