Background/Purpose: Medical education scholarship (MES) is meaningful work that not only benefits the faculty but also the learners and their institutions. Clinical teaching faculty who engage in Medical Education Research can ensure that their scholarship is directly applied to practice.3 While clinical research skills may be taught directly the adaptation of clinical research skills to MES is limited, lacking in fundamental skills related to terminology, measurement, and literature.1, 2 Inevitably, success depends on good mentorship. Negotiating the terrain of medical education scholarship requires consistent and effective mentorship.3 Unfortunately, effective mentorship for medical education scholarship is lacking.3 Our aim was to conduct a systematized review of the literature as the first part of an award funded by the NEGEA designed to identify the elements of a model for effective MES mentorship. What is unique about this process is that we conducted this review by collaboration among 6 different medical institutions and 9 individuals.
Methods: To develop and further refine an interview protocol that will be used with medical education mentors and mentees, we identified, with the assistance of the two reference librarians on our team, articles focused on basic and clinical science research mentorship in medicine. All meetings were held via conference call. Technologies used included EndNote, Dropbox, Excel, and Qualtrics. Article inclusion criteria were: 1) English language articles published between 1990 and the present, and 2) articles focused on mentorship for scholarship in medicine. Studies were excluded if they focus on other mentorship domains (clinical leadership, career development not related to scholarship). We planned to include research studies, reviews, and opinion pieces/perspectives.
Results/Educational Outcomes: In the initial meeting, team members were asked to identify relevant terms and phrases, such as mentoring, mentorship, role modeling, research, scholarship, medicine, medical education). The librarians used the suggested terms to identify additional synonyms and categories and created a table of possible search terms. The table prompted a rich discussion at the next team meeting, which included both a common definition of mentorship, and a narrowing of the focus of the literature search. As a result, the team revised the criteria to exclude articles about biomedical research. The librarians developed search strategies for PubMed, PsycINFO, ERIC, CINAHL, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Next the librarians assigned sets of articles to pairs of researchers to review based on titles, or on titles and abstracts when necessary. All articles deemed relevant by the pairs were retained and groups were assigned of articles for identification of factors that mentors and mentees use to positively impact mentorship in scholarship/research. These key factors will then be used to modify the interview protocol for mentor and mentee interviews.
Conclusions/Strength of Innovation: This process was successful in using an evidence based process for developing the mentorship in medical education scholarship themes which will be further validated as the project continues. Elements of the process that were critical to the success of a geographically 31 dispersed interdisciplinary team included regularly scheduled phone meetings with agenda items sent well in advance of the meetings, minutes and action items sent following the meeting, discussion time at each meeting to resolve questions, raise new issues, good use of technology available at participating institutions, common understanding of the goals of the project. Having a diverse group of professionals (clinicians, librarians, and medical educators) brought forth the complementary skill sets to the process with different experts leading the process as needed. Issues arose largely regarding understanding and agreement of terminology, including, what is considered “scholarship” and “mentorship.”
1. Scott K, Caldwell P, Schuwirth L. Ten steps to conducting health professional education research. Clin Teach. 2015; 12:272-276.
2. Blanchard RD, Artino AR, Visintainer PF. Applying clinical research skills to education research: Important recommendations for success. J Grad Med Educ. 2014;6(4):619-622. 3. Blanchard RD, Visintainer PF, La Rochelle J. Cultivating medical education research mentorship as a pathway towards high quality medical education research. JGIM. 2015; 30(9): 1359-62.
CichoskiKelly, Eileen; O'Malley, Donna; Herman, Wendy; Fornari, Alice; and Blanchard, Rebecca D., "A Collaborative Distance Approach Using the Evidence to Build a Model for Medical Education Mentorship" (2017). College of Medicine Faculty Publications. 1.