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2015 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

3182 — Evaluating a Model of Mentorship Outcomes of HSR&D Career Development Awardees

Cronkite RC, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Halvorson MA, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Maisel NC, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Bi X, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Weitlauf JC, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Timko CD, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Blonigen DM, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Hayashi KP, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Zulman DM, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS; Finney JW, Ci2i, VA Palo Alto HCS

Our purpose was to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the mentorship component of the VA HSRandD Career Development Award (CDA) program and evaluate the relative importance of mentee characteristics, the structure/format of the mentorship, mentoring relationship/functions, and institutional context, on mentees' satisfaction with their mentor and career, perceived impact on their professional life, and research self-efficacy.

Among the universe (N = 190) of VA HSRandD Career Development Awardees (mentees) who started their CDA sometime during 2000-2012, 95% (n = 180) provided CVs and names of up to 2 mentors during their CDA, and 12% (n = 21) had transitioned into being mentors themselves. Of the remaining 159 CDAs, 84% (N = 133) completed a web-based survey designed to characterize key mentee characteristics (e.g., career motivation, grit/perseverance), the structure of their CDA mentorship (mentor selection, meetings per month, geographical proximity), the mentoring relationship and functions the mentor provided (psychosocial, career-related), and the institutional context (Center of Excellence). Mentee subjective outcome measures included satisfaction with the primary mentor and with one's own career, perceived impact on the mentee's professional life, and research self-efficacy. We estimated a multivariate model using multiple regression analyses, and examined bivariate associations between specific elements of a mentoring relationship and outcomes.

Controlling for gender and highest degree, psychosocial and career mentoring composites were the strongest predictors of satisfaction with the primary mentor and impact on professional life (? = .44-.51, p < .001). Similarity/complementarity with the mentor, open communication and trust, mentor's good listening skills, role modeling, and acceptance of mentee as a competent professional each emerged as particularly important elements of the psychosocial domain. Guidance on prioritization of projects, specific strategies for achieving career aspirations, advocating for the mentee's career advancement and helping the mentee be more visible and to navigate academic politics were critical elements of the career mentoring domain. Mentee's overall career motivation was a strong predictor of the mentee's career satisfaction and research self-efficacy (? = .29-.32, p < .01).

Both the psychosocial and career mentoring aspects of the mentorship influenced mentee satisfaction. Career motivation is important for a mentee's career satisfaction and perceived research self-efficacy.

The findings suggest some best practices for developing effective mentoring relationships.