Establishing Effective Mentoring Networks: Rationale and Strategies

Publication ID Published Volume
10571 April 18, 2017 13

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Introduction:Mentoring networks constitute an effective mentoring model in academic medicine and significantly add to the traditional dyadic mentor-mentee relationship. There is an unmet educational need for medical faculty to recognize the importance and characteristics of effective mentoring networks and to develop tools and strategies to appraise and construct strong, individualized mentoring networks. Methods: An interactive educational session on developmental mentoring networks for physicians and scientists in an academic environment was designed. This session can be presented as part of a series on mentoring topics or as a stand-alone module. Results: Using preassigned readings and a mentoring network mapping exercise, participants were able to describe their current mentoring relationships and identify strengths and opportunities for enhancing their effectiveness. Discussion: A structured educational session is a useful approach towards advancing the ability of academic mentors to help create optimally effective mentoring networks. The learning environment is enhanced by the interactive nature of the session when used in an interdisciplinary cohort of faculty participants.


Christou H, Dookeran N, Haas A, et al. Establishing effective mentoring networks: rationale and strategies. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2017;13:10571.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the importance of effective mentoring networks.
  2. Identify the characteristics of effective mentoring networks.
  3. Appraise the composition of their current mentoring network.
  4. Recognize patterns and gaps in their current mentoring network.
  5. Formulate strategies to build an effective personal mentoring network.


  • Mentoring Expectations, Career Development


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  2. Dookeran N, Fuhlbrigge R, Gottlieb B, et al. Structuring the mentoring relationship: expectations and boundaries. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2015;11:10196.

  3. Higgins MC, Kram KE. Reconceptualizing mentoring at work: a developmental network perspective. Acad Manage Rev. 2001;26(2):264-288.

  4. Murphy W, Kram KE. Strategic Relationships at Work: Creating Your Circle of Mentors, Sponsors, and Peers for Success in Business and Life. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2014.

  5. Palepu A, Friedman RH, Barnett RC, et al. Junior faculty members’ mentoring relationships and their professional development in U.S. medical schools. Acad Med. 1998;73(3):318-323.

  6. Seely EW, Kram KE, Emans SJ. Developmental networks in translational science. Transl Res. 2015;165(4):531-536.

  7. Tsen LC, Borus JF, Nadelson CC, Seely EW, Haas A, Fuhlbrigge AL. The development, implementation, and assessment of an innovative faculty mentoring leadership program. Acad Med. 2012;87(12):1757-1761.

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ISSN 2374-8265