Mentorship can be one of the most important factors in helping faculty members successfully advance academic careers. Finding effective mentorship, however, is extremely challenging and lack of mentorship may negatively impact productivity, promotion, and retention. Women, in particular, identify lack of mentorship as a major factor inhibiting career advancement, which in turn may be one element contributing to the significant gender gaps existing in academic medicine. Here, we describe a model of mentoring drawn from our personal experiences as 4 female faculty that has resulted in a successful collaboration spanning nearly a decade. This model combines different elements of mentoring models previously described in the literature into a single model of network mentoring. Our model aims to promote longitudinal, collaborative scholarship around a broad common research theme, provide long-term mentorship focused on successfully navigating personal and academic hurdles, and create a forum of mentorship for faculty at all academic ranks. Keys to the success of our model, The Accelerate Scholarship through Personal Engagement with a Collaborative Team (ASPECT) Model, are: 1) a shared overarching research goal that allows for multiple projects to be worked on over time; 2) regular, structured meetings; 3) a collaborative yet flexible arrangement with “group accountability”; and 4) a focus on the human connection. Our goal in writing this paper is to describe, in detail, lessons learned from our experiences and reflect on why and how this model may be effective in addressing mentoring gaps many faculty members, particularly women, experience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health