Faculty Mentoring Program

Young doctor shaking hands with mentor

The School of Medicine Faculty Mentoring Program builds an academic environment of excellence by strengthening faculty members' skills. In doing so, we create a medical center where everyone wants to come to learn, teach, conduct research and receive health care. The overall goal of the program is to develop healthy, successful individuals and guide them on career paths that follow their personal goals, meet their department's mission and utilize their strongest assets. Our program focuses on:

  • Supporting the growth of each faculty member's academic career and the missions and goals of KUMC.
    1. Understanding the values, rules and operating procedures in academic medicine, such how the merit and promotion system works and how to advance in your track.
      1. Developing and sustaining a network of professional colleagues who can offer advice, training and help.


      Junior faculty wishing to succeed in academic medicine today face daunting challenges in this era of cost containment in health care delivery or achievement in grand funding for research.

      It is critical to provide support and guidance for faculty to facilitate career development and foster the retention of excellent physician-teachers and physician-investigators thus reducing our faculty member's loss of enthusiasm for careers in academic medicine.

      Purpose and Goal

      One way of addressing the needs of junior faculty in academic medicine is a collaborative mentoring program. The purpose of the Mentoring Initiative is to transition, assist and propel junior faculty and promote the advancement and retention of new faculty into our next generation of academic physicians and research leaders. 

      The primary goal of the School of Medicine's program is to support and assist with a department-based structure and overseen by Department Faculty Development Directors and respective Faculty Development Committees. The overall goal of the program is to first develop healthy, successful individuals, guiding them on career paths that follow their personal goals, help meet their department's mission and utilize their strongest assets.

      The School of Medicine provides resources based upon individual mentee or mentor needs aimed at achieving promotion. Department and chair support for promotion, or promotion with tenure, is not a requirement and self-nomination is possible. Departments are responsible for mentoring to meet their specialty needs, which goes beyond the school's mentoring toward promotion resources. Mentoring is part of the Annual Faculty Assessment.

      The initiative involves advancing through three steps:

      1. New Faculty Onboarding process
      2. Mentoring Toward Promotion steps
      3. Department Based Programs for mentoring and faculty development

      The School of Medicine's Mentoring Program begins with Understanding Ranks and Tracks.

        Mentoring Awards

        School of Medicine Executive Dean's Distinguished Mentoring Awards recognize mentors who demonstrate a responsibility to faculty development and who exemplify a deep commitment to fostering the professional growth of our junior faculty members. View award categories, criteria and nomination details >>

        Last modified: Nov 05, 2015
        KU School of Medicine mentoring program jayhawks
        The importance of having a mentor

        Having a mentor is critical for a successful career in academic medicine, and institutions need to encourage and value the work of mentors. In surveys of faculty members in academic health sciences centers, 98% of participants identified lack of mentoring as an important factor hindering career progress.

        Finding a suitable mentor requires effort and persistence, and mentees need to be diligent in seeking out these relationships.