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UMass Chan Medical School Mentoring Survey

Mentoring is critical to success in academic medicine and enhancing the mentoring culture at UMass Chan is a major goal of the OFA. But there was little data on mentoring at UMass Chan. The 2009 AAMC/Faculty Forward survey revealed that UMass Chan faculty received less formal mentoring than comparison medical schools, with 69% of Assistant Professors reporting that they did not receive formal mentoring. In 2011, an Independent Student Survey conducted as part of the LCME re-accreditation process indicated gaps in medical student satisfaction with the advising and the mentor system. The goal of the UMass Chan Mentoring Survey was to conduct a baseline assessment of the mentoring status and needs across the continuum of students, trainees, and faculty.

The Survey

The UMass Chan 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 Chan Mentoring Advisory Board, the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA), and the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences.

The survey contained 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

Download the Mentoring Survey.

In Fall 2012, the same survey was distributed electronically using REDCap to all students (medical, graduate, nursing), trainees (residents, fellows, postdocs) and faculty at UMass Chan, a total of 3870 recipients. Responses were anonymous and confidential, and the study was approved for exempt status by the UMass Chan IRB. 


Overall, 1842 (47.5%) individuals responded to the survey (53% of students; 43% of trainees; 43% of faculty). The survey data have provided a rich source of information that has been used to guide mentoring at UMass Chan, particularly the mentoring of faculty.

The "Mentoring Gap" measured the extent by which individual needs for mentoring were being met. It was calculated by combining two key questions:

  • Are you currently receiving guidance?
  • Do you need a mentor or mentors?

Combining the responses to these 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 Gap is much larger for faculty (34% of all respondents) than for students or trainees, groups where the great majority of respondents are receiving guidance. The Gap is larger for clinical faculty (40%) compared to research faculty (27%) but similar for female (35%) and male (33%) faculty.

Mentoring Gap


Using Survey Data to Drive Mentoring Programs in a Large Academic Health Center. Andrieni J et al. (2013). Poster presented at the AAMC Annual Meeting, November 2013: View poster.