Research Mentorship for Medical Trainees Across the Continuum: A Faculty Toolkit

Publication ID Published Volume
10132 June 10, 2015 11


Literature has shown that an effective research mentoring relationship not only influences personal and career development, but also increases productivity and success for both mentors and mentees. In academic medicine, faculty are often encouraged to mentor trainees in scholarly activity; however, faculty development and training in the area of research mentorship, is generally limited. It has become increasingly important, to both medical schools and residency/fellowship programs, to provide their trainees with meaningful scholarly training and activities. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a policy statement emphasizing the importance of education mentorship and support for pediatric research with specific recommendations highlighting the need for research training across the continuum of trainees. The Liaison Committee for Medical Education requires that the medical school curriculum introduces research concepts, and while few programs require medical students to engage in scholarly activity, more schools are considering this as a condition for graduation. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education mandates that residency programs teach residents basic research principles and require residents to participate in scholarly activity.

Previously, we published a curriculum for program directors interested in building or enhancing a research curriculum. However, the success of such a program depends on faculty members skilled in mentoring trainees in their scholarly activity. As a follow up, we have developed this toolkit to provide faculty development for mentoring trainees through a research project. These tools can form the basis of a faculty development workshop or can be used independently by faculty engaged in mentoring trainees in a research project.

We first piloted the cases and relationship building worksheets at an Academic Pediatric Association regional conference and then refined it at two national conferences. These workshops targeted program leadership interested in developing or enhancing a research curriculum for residents. Based on the favorable reception and positive feedback generated by the workshops, the authors from Weill Cornell Medical Center were asked to develop and deliver a workshop to their local pediatric faculty on mentorship. This workshop was delivered during a regularly scheduled faculty meeting with the entire meeting dedicated to faculty development. What we learned from this workshop is that to stimulate rich discussion and a full range of perspectives, there should be a mix of junior and senior faculty members in each small group. We would also recommend limiting groups to a maximum of four individuals to optimize participation in the case discussions.

Comments from workshop evaluations included “Great interactive workshop. Left with lots of practical tools.” Another participant wrote “Very well presented in an order that made sense and with handouts and examples that accentuated the learning experience.” A third person wrote “Mentoring ideas were excellent.” Workshop participants recommended that the session be repeated the following year.

These materials are also available to faculty and residents at each of our institutions and have been actively used by faculty and residents working on their required scholarly activity for over a year. The key to successful implementation of the worksheets has been their widespread dissemination. For instance, these are available on institutional shared drives or online educational departmental websites.


Green C, Li S, Jirasevijinda T, Bostwick S, Howell J, Abramson E. Research mentorship for medical trainees across the continuum: a faculty toolkit. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2015;11:10132.

Educational Objectives

By the end of the review of this toolkit, faculty will be able to:

  1. Apply qualities of successful dyadic relationships to cases.
  2. Build successful mentoring relationships with trainees.
  3. Facilitate step-wise planning of a successful project with a mentee.


  • Research, Research Design, Mentorship, Mentors, Trainee, Training Support, Traineeship

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

A variation of these materials have been used at four different workshops.

  • “They can be mentored and you can mentor them: practical approaches to engaging trainees in research” APPD/COMSEP national meeting, Nashville, TN, April 2013.
  • “They can do research: Practical Approaches to Designing a Research Program for Residents,” Pediatric Academic Society National Meeting, May 2013.
  • “Mentoring: A two way street,” Regional Academic Pediatric Association Meeting, New York, NY. March 2013.
  • "Mentoring: A Two Way Street," Faculty development session at home institution, Weill Cornell Medical Center. May 13, 2014.


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  10. Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education. Acceditation Council on Graduate Medical Education Common Program Requirements. 2013.
  11. Abramson E, Bostwick S, Green C, DiPace J. A Longitudinal Residency Research Curriculum. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2013. Available from:​publication/​9496​10.15766/​mep_2374-8265.9496

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