The future LGBT health professional: Perspectives on career and personal mentorship

Nelson F. Sánchez, Edward J Callahan, Cheryl Brewster, Norma Poll-Hunter, John Paul Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Mentorship is a critical factor contributing to career success. There is limited research on the quality of mentoring relationships for LGBT health professionals. This study explores facilitators of, obstacles to, and strategies for successful mentorship for LGBT health professional trainees. Methods: We applied a convenience sampling strategy to collect quantitative and qualitative data among LGBT health professional trainees. The authors identified trends in data using bivariate analyses and Consensual Qualitative Research methods. Results: Seventy-five LGBT trainees completed surveys and a subset of 23 survey respondents also participated in three focus groups. Among survey participants, 100% identified along the queer spectrum; 10.7% identified along the trans spectrum; 36.0% identified as a racial or ethnic minority; and 61.3% were in MD/DO-granting programs. Eighty-eight percent of trainees reported working with at least one mentor and 48.5% of trainees had at least one mentor of the same sexual orientation. Seventy-two percent of trainees endorsed the importance of having an LGBT-identified mentor for personal development. Qualitative data showed that trainees valued such a mentor for positive role modeling and shared understanding of experiences. Fifty-nine percent of trainees felt it was important to have an LGBT-identified mentor for career development. LGBT peer networking and LGBT-related professional advice were cited as unique benefits in the qualitative findings. Conclusion: LGBT health professional trainees have unique personal and career development needs that may benefit from LGBT mentorship. Academic health centers that facilitate LGBT mentorship could enhance LGBT health trainees' academic productivity and personal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalLGBT Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • career development
  • gender identity
  • mentorship
  • personal development
  • sexual orientation
  • workforce development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology


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