Faculty Mentoring Program

Mentoring is an essential component of faculty career development at Icahn School of Medicine (MSSM). The School is committed to promoting mentorship by supporting departments and institutes in establishing ongoing mentoring programs that will address the totality of each faculty member’s strengths, interests and aspirations in research, clinical care, education and leadership.

Junior faculty will participate in structured mentoring programs that foster productivity, enhance faculty satisfaction and stimulate career development. Initially, the programs will be targeted at assistant professors in the Academic Track and the Clinician and/or Educator Track. While participation is voluntary, the involvement of all targeted junior faculty will be strongly encouraged.

All senior faculty are expected to serve as mentors. In the initial roll-out of the plan, associate professors and professors in the Academic Track and the Clinician and/or Educator Track as well as research professors in the Research Track will be targeted as mentors. Senior faculty may be called upon to mentor junior faculty with primary appointments both within and outside of their primary department.

In support of this mission and vision, each department will either appoint a Vice Chair of Career Development and Mentorship or will assign a senior faculty member specific responsibility for creating, implementing and tracking a mentoring and career development program within the department. The appointed individual will be expected to use the institutional framework as a starting point for developing a plan tailored to the specific needs of his/her department. Departments that already have mentoring programs in place should ensure that those programs adhere to the basic tenets set forth in the institutional plan.

In recognition of the close identification that many faculty have to a multidisciplinary institute at MSSM, on a case-by-case basis it may be determined that an institute rather than a department will take primary responsibility for developing a mentoring plan for a junior faculty member. In such cases, there must be a clear understanding between the institute and the primary academic department of which entity will be accountable.

The Vice Chair or other assigned individual will be charged with implementing a structured mentoring and career development program for junior faculty that is consistent with the institutional plan. Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Identifying senior faculty to serve as mentors
  • Ensuring that targeted junior faculty are successful in forming advisory committees
  • Performing ongoing data collection to assess effectiveness of mentoring activities
  • Preparing an annual summary of mentoring activities and their impact on faculty
  • Recognizing and rewarding senior faculty for outstanding mentorship
  • Representing their department or institute on the Institutional Mentoring Committee

Mentees are expected to take the initiative for participating in and reaping the benefits of the mentoring experience.

Junior faculty will be expected to:

  • Assemble their own advisory committees (with input as necessary from the Vice Chair for Career Development and Mentorship and/or the Associate Dean for Academic Enhancement and Mentoring
  • Arrange meetings with advisory committee and/or individual members of committee
  • With input from the advisory committee, create a personal development plan that includes:
    • Long-range (five year) goals and short-term (one year) goals
    • Specific tasks that will lead to goal achievement, particularly in the short-term
  • Report to advisory committee periodically on progress, providing evidence of the successful completion of articulated tasks and goals

Junior faculty recruited to MSSM are expected for create their advisory committees within six months of their hire date.

Mentors optimize the program experience through involvement in committees.

Senior faculty will be expected to:

  • Serve on one or more advisory committees, including those of junior faculty from other departments as feasible
  • Attend advisory committee meetings to assist in the creation of the mentee’s personal development plan and to provide feedback on progress during the year

Every program should contain the elements outlined below. Although it will be the mentee’s responsibility (with input as necessary from the Vice Chair for Mentoring) to assemble his/her committees, create a development plan, arrange meetings with mentors and report on progress, both the mentoring committee and the department are responsible for ensuring that these steps are all taken:

  1. Description of mentors and mentor responsibilities:
    1. Size – Larger departments should strive to create mentoring committees comprised of at least two and up to four senior faculty, possibly including one from another department. Small departments may have to adopt a less formal approach that relies on a more on 1:1 mentoring.
    2. Frequency of mentoring meetings – minimum 1x/year, preferably 3-4x/year, with possible additional 1:1 meetings with individual mentors as needed
    3. Mentoring should encompass both strategies to success at work and broader career planning
  2. Development plan for mentee – should include short and long term goals and specific tasks to accomplish over next year

  3. Reporting expectations – when/how/what will mentee report to committee?
  4. Evaluation of mentoring:
    1. How will mentee progress be evaluated by mentors?
    2. How will you as Chair?
      • Evaluate performance of mentors?
      • Evaluate overall effectiveness of department mentoring program?
      • Incorporate mentor and mentee activities into the annual faculty performance evaluation process?

The Office of Academic Development and Enrichment supports initiatives that maximize the mentoring experience for all involved.
Institutional resources are available to support departmental mentoring programs:

  • Office of Academic Enhancement and Mentoring (Lakshmi Devi, PhD, Dean) – Under the leadership of the Dean for Academic Development and Enrichment, this office sponsors initiatives that foster career development of individual faculty and also enhance the quality of the mentorship they receive. These initiatives are predominately geared towards research-oriented trainees and faculty.
    • Junior Faculty Career Development Day – This annual event, introduced in 2010, offers a full day of speakers and/or panels addressing how to create an individual career development plan and career decision-making plan
    • Workshops – Three to four workshops per year are offered on topics that are of interest to junior faculty. Recent examples include: Scientific Lab Leadership; Management and Responsible Conduct of Research; Conflict Resolution

  • Institute for Medical Education (IME) – The IME is dedicated to creating, educating, mentoring and retaining the best educators for our students, residents and faculty. Fostering the success of educators includes recognizing and rewarding those who display dedication and excellence in their work, and providing programs that develop and reinforce their scholarship, teaching skills and successful promotion. In so doing, IME creates a community of committed educators who contribute their knowledge and experience and mentorship to junior faculty.

  • Office for Women’s Careers (Sandra Masur, PhD, Director) – Under the leadership of the Director, this office is dedicated to advancing women’s academic careers and addressing potential impediments to success. OWC offers opportunities for women faculty to network across departments, serves as an advocacy and mentoring resource, and provides a forum for support, education and discussion.

  • Faculty Scholars Program (FSP)/Center for Multicultural Affairs (Gary Butts, MD, Dean for Diversity Programs and Policy) – The Faculty Scholars program aims to develop underrepresented minority (URM) faculty and nurture their success in academic medicine. FSP seeks to increase the capability and expand the capacity of URM faculty in all research, teaching, community service, clinical practice and professional leadership.

Updated October 2011