Qualities of an Effective Mentor

In May 2011, an article titled "Defining the Ideal Qualities of Mentorship: A Qualitative Analysis of the Characteristics of Outstanding Mentors" by Christine S. Cho, MD, MPH; Radhika A. Ramanan, MD, MPH; Mitchell D. Feldman, MD, MPhil was published in the American Journal of Medicine. The primary objective of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine study was to identify from letters whereby mentees' nominated their mentors for their prestigious lifetime achievement award in mentoring, qualities they found to be outstanding. The results of the article gave new insight into how mentors foster the careers of junior faculty in the academic health sciences and is the basis for the information below. Five themes emerged from the analysis but the article explains more about them in detail.


There are Five Basic Themes of Outstanding Mentors

  1. Admirable characteristics
  2. How mentors act as career guides
  3. Strength of mentor's time commitment
  4. Support of personal/professional balance
  5. Leaving a legacy of mentoring

Source: Cho CS, Ramanan RA, Feldman MD. Defining the Ideal Qualities of Mentorship: A Qualitative Analysis of the Characteristics of Outstanding Mentors. American Journal of Medicine. 2011 May; Vol. 124 (5): 453-458. Readers should choose Science Direct and enter their KUMC username and password when prompted.


Mentors Who Need Help

Contact a member of the Society of Distinguished Mentors with any questions you may have regarding serving as a mentor.

Last modified: Dec 06, 2011
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