Peer Group Mentoring of Junior Faculty
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The purpose of this article is to document and evaluate the initiation of a mentoring model for junior faculty utilizing a peer group approach rather than the traditional dyadic model.
Junior faculty members in an academic department of psychiatry at Sunnybrook Hospital, University of Toronto, were invited to take part in a peer mentoring program involving evening meetings every 2 months over a 1-year period from 2004–2005. Of the 12 invitees, 10 agreed to participate in the program. The group participants developed the program agenda collectively. Learning objectives as well as a list of topics of interest were established at the inaugural meeting. A focus group was held at the end of 12 months to provide a descriptive, qualitative evaluation. The focus group leader prepared a report based on observations and notes taken during the focus group.
The report prepared by the focus group leader identified six main themes that included: program development, knowledge gains, interpersonal gains, psychological/emotional gains, process of the program and future directions. The overall response was clearly favorable with a unanimous decision to maintain the group and continue meeting into the next year.
A peer group mentoring format for junior faculty in an academic department of psychiatry can be an effective model of mentoring.
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