UMass Worcester Mentoring Survey

The UMass Worcester Mentoring Survey was conceived, initiated, and implemented by Dr. Julia Andrieni as part of her project for the Joy McCann Professorship — with the assistance of, and in collaboration with, the UMass Worcester Mentoring Advisory Board, the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA), and the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences. The same survey was distributed to all students (medical, graduate, nursing), trainees (residents, fellows, postdocs) and faculty at UMass Worcester. The goals of the survey were to define the current status of mentoring and to determine future mentoring needs at UMass Worcester. The results are being used to enhance mentoring across the campus.

Background

  • In April 2009 UMMS participated in the AAMC/Faculty Forward survey which revealed that UMMS faculty receive less formal mentoring than comparison medical schools. Notably, most (69%) Assistant Professors at UMMS do not receive formal mentoring.
  • In January 2011, an Independent Student Survey was conducted as part of the student self assessment for the LCME re-accreditation review process.  The survey revealed gaps in medical student satisfaction with the advising and the mentor system.
  • As part of her Joy McCann Professorship, Dr. Julia D. Andrieni set a goal to conduct a baseline mentorting and mentoring needs assessment accross the continuum for students, trainees, and faculty.

Survey Description

The survey contained fifty (50) questions and focused on three areas for both mentees and mentors:

  • a baseline assessment to understand how individuals were currently engaged in mentoring
  • a needs assessment to understand individual needs and preferred modalities for mentoring
  • demographic information for analysis of the survey information by specific groups

Implementation Process

The survey using REDCap was administered electronically to students, trainees, and faculty from all three Schools in Fall 2012. To ensure confidentiality, individual participation was anonymous. Responses to survey questions were only to be reported in aggregate form, not provided to any unauthorized parties, and did not contain any information that would permit identification of an individual. Completion and submission of the survey ensured appropriate informed consent was followed and received IRB "exempt status" approval.

Targeted Groups: Response Rates:
Group N  School/Program 
 Students  429  Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
 Students  211  Graduate School of Nursing
 Students  519  School of Medicine
 Trainees  579  Medical Residents and Fellows
 Trainees  331  Post Doctoral Researchers 
 Faculty  1801  Faculty
 TOTAL  3870  
MentoringSurvey01ResponseRates

Results

Mentoring Gap

Two key questions were asked on the survey:
  • Are you currently receiving guidance?
  • Do you need a mentor or mentors?

Comparison of the the responses to these two questions yielded the "Mentoring Gap": the number of respondents who stated that they were not receiving guidance but answered "yes" or "maybe" to the need for mentoring.

The Mentoring Gap is much greater for faculty than for students or trainees, groups where the great majority of respondents are receiving guidance.

Further Information

The Office of Faculty Affairs used data on our current mentoring environment from the Mentoring Study to identify groups of faculty with specific needs for mentoring, design mentoring programs and allocate resources effectively. To learn more, see Mentoring Survey: Faculty.

If you have any questions regarding the UMass Worcester Mentoring Study or related data analyses, please contact Dr. Robert Milner, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development at Robert.Milner@umassmed.edu or 508-856-1301.