Mentorship for Research Success

  • Jacqueline M. Garonzik-WangEmail author
  • Dorry L. Segev
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


There are increasing challenges to building a productive and successful career in academic medicine in the modern era, including increasing clinical and administrative demands and a progressively more competitive funding environment. It has become nearly impossible to navigate the academic maze in a confident and efficient manner without support, guidance, encouragement, and mentorship. A dynamic mentee/mentor relationship is therefore critical to the growth and development of future clinician-scientists. With regard to research mentorship, the mentee/mentor team must actively pursue the immediate requirements for research progress, funding, and academic advancement while simultaneously anticipating the long-term requirements for academic independence, longevity, research program building, and national recognition. This chapter outlines the lessons and pearls learned from a productive and successful research mentee/mentor relationship, with a focus on clinical research.


Mentorship Clinician-scientist Research success Health services research Research productivity 


  1. 1.
    Block SM, Sonnino RE, Bellini L. Defining "faculty" in academic medicine: responding to the challenges of a changing environment. Acad Med. 2015;90(3):279–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Christmas C, Durso SC, Kravet SJ, Wright SM. Advantages and challenges of working as a clinician in an academic department of medicine: academic clinicians’ perspectives. J Grad Med Educ. 2010;2(3):478–84.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Druml C, Singer EA, Wolzt M. The decline of academic medicine. Lancet. 2006;368(9532):285.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mallon WT. The benefits and challenges of research centers and institutes in academic medicine: findings from six universities and their medical schools. Acad Med. 2006;81(6):502–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Meador KJ. Decline of clinical research in academic medical centers. Neurology. 2015;85(13):1171–6.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Whitcomb ME. Major new challenges for academic medicine. Acad Med. 2003;78(11):1077–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cochran A, Elder WB, Neumayer LA. Characteristics of effective mentorship for academic surgeons: a grounded theory model. Ann Surg. 2017 epub (ahead of print).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pfund C, Byars-Winston A, Branchaw J, Hurtado S, Eagan K. Defining attributes and metrics of effective research mentoring relationships. AIDS Behav. 2016;20(Suppl 2):238–48.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Straus SE, Johnson MO, Marquez C, Feldman MD. Characteristics of successful and failed mentoring relationships: a qualitative study across two academic health centers. Acad Med. 2013;88(1):82–9.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Athanasiou T, Patel V, Garas G, Ashrafian H, Hull L, Sevdalis N, et al. Mentoring perception, scientific collaboration and research performance: is there a 'gender gap' in academic medicine? an academic health science centre perspective. Postgrad Med J. 2016;92(1092):581–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Burazeri G. Mentoring in academic medicine: a challenging yet rewarding endeavour. Acta Med Acad. 2015;44(1):77–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Geraci SA, Thigpen SC. A review of mentoring in academic medicine. Am J Med Sci. 2017;353(2):151–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kashiwagi DT, Varkey P, Cook DA. Mentoring programs for physicians in academic medicine: a systematic review. Acad Med. 2013;88(7):1029–37.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hu Y, Edwards BL, Brooks KD, Newhook TE, Slingluff CL Jr. Recent trends in national institutes of health funding for surgery: 2003 to 2013. Am J Surg. 2015;209(6):1083–9.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rangel SJ, Efron B, Moss RL. Recent trends in national institutes of health funding of surgical research. Ann Surg. 2002;236(3):277–86. discussion 86-7CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rangel SJ, Moss RL. Recent trends in the funding and utilization of NIH career development awards by surgical faculty. Surgery. 2004;136(2):232–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Englesbe MJ, Sung RS, Segev DL. Young transplant surgeons and NIH funding. Am J Transplant. 2011;11(2):245–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    National Institute of Health. How NIH can help you become a physcian-scientist 2017 [Available from:
  19. 19.
    Fernhall B, Borghi-Silva A, Babu AS. The future of physical activity research: funding, opportunities and challenges. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015;57(4):299–305.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryJohns Hopkins HospitalBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryEpidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation, Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations