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Faculty Development & Mentoring Overview

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The ultimate goal of the Department of Internal Medicine (IM) Mentoring Program is to guide and develop junior faculty members through their first promotion. To ensure a successful career as defined by both personal and professional success, we provide each faculty member with the mentoring and resources to become an excellent teacher, clinician and scholar as well as a good citizen of the division, department, university and to local, regional and national professional communities.

To achieve this goal, the department has developed a mentorship program in which mentors provide a regular and effective means of developing, supporting and monitoring individual career plans. The department has developed and will maintain an up-to-date departmental web site that will serve as a valuable career development informational resource for mentors and mentees alike. The department will provide senior faculty with mentoring resources.

The IM mentoring program provides structure and a process to assist, motivate and encourage junior faculty to achieve their full potential in patient care, academic and extramural service, and research/scholarship, thus ultimately earning promotion and recognition in their field of medicine and the academic community. This program does not supplant the role of dhair or division chiefs in this effort, nor does it intend to minimize or detract from their responsibilities in this regard. Instead the program intends to build upon existing efforts and present information that is critical to one's career advancement in a clear and concise format. While the mentoring program focuses primarily on junior faculty working toward their first promotion, it is not limited only to that group. Mentoring efforts appropriate to other faculty, especially mid-level faculty will also be addressed.


New junior faculty members, immediately following signing an offer letter from the Department of Medicine, should follow all steps in the School of Medicine resource for the on-boarding' process of new faculty members. This includes new hires from our KU Residency program or from outside the institution.
  • To begin, go to New Faculty On-Boarding
  • For additional steps for the School of Medicine's On-boarding process, refer to the department's Timeline

Mentoring — What Do We Mean?

"Mentoring" comes in all forms and varies based on the philosophy of who you ask. The style of mentoring is a personal preference. However, for the purpose of this guide and our goal for junior faculty to be promoted and tenured, please consider two mentoring definitions:

Informal mentoring on the fly is when you pop into a senior colleague's office or visit with them over lunch to discuss a concern, problem, "how-to" solution or to discuss whatever your needs are at the moment where by they help you get answers or solve problems. This help ultimately assists with reaching project goals and thus, promotion and tenure.

Formalized mentoring is a system where by a career mentor is a senior colleague with whom you schedule a meeting (at a frequency you deem helpful) to take an overall look at your career and determine if all your daily activities are on track with where you should be regarding promotion and tenure timeline issues. This can simply be to discuss the Annual Faculty Assessment six months before the completion deadline, to ensure there are no surprises.

Our Mentoring & Faculty Development Program Opportunities

New junior faculty members in the Department of Medicine are offered a variety of mentoring resources. Our goal is to facilitate the career development of junior faculty members, helping them achieve satisfying, productive and sustained career trajectories in academic medicine.

The Mentoring Committee of the Department of Medicine, chaired by Dr. Susan Pingleton, advises the Department on the general mentoring program for all faculty members with the goal of 'Mentoring for Promotion." Mentoring towards promotion succeeds best when a relationship is established from the beginning of a faculty member's employment. In the Department of Internal Medicine mentoring relationships are driven by our eleven divisions and guidelines for connecting with a mentor are determined by each Division Director. The Division Directors ensure that each junior faculty member is paired with a more senior mentor, shortly after you arrive, with whom they are to meet 2-3 times per year to review career goals and progress.

• Career Mentors should be a senior colleague and who guide you through your first promotion ensuring your goals are met and you are promoted and tenured.

• Project Mentors, who may have strengths in other areas, may be added to assist based upon your professional goals. Feel free to recommend additional project mentors, seek them out on your own or by asking your career mentor for assistance with finding the "best fit" on this campus.

Faculty members are always welcome to find additional mentors outside the Department of Internal Medicine and from other institutions. Since mentoring progress is part of the annual assessment, recommended templates are available on the School of Medicine's Mentoring website to guide these initial and follow-up meetings.

  • Visit the SOM list of templates here

All junior faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the seminars and other offerings of the school-wide Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development office, led by Dianne Durham, PhD. Visit the PDFA Training Calendar and our department training programs here:

Interested junior faculty physicians in the Department of Medicine may also participate in the Incubator Faculty Scholars program of the Department's internal Office of Scholarly, Academic & Research Mentoring, known as 'OSARM,' which is directed by Sally Rigler, M.D., MPH. OSARM offers a more intensive program of career mentorship, scholarly project guidance, access to biostatistical collaboration, and other assistance for scholarly development of early-career physicians.

Ideally, brand new faculty members will join the Incubator at the beginning of their second year, after the initial on-boarding processes have been completed and the faculty member has become familiar with the institution. However, exceptions to this time-line can be considered in select circumstances.

Junior Faculty Training for Doctors as Teachers

The department of IM prepares their faculty for teaching and professional development in multiple ways.

First, through our monthly department meetings topics such as education, teaching skills are discussed on a regular basis. Monthly research seminars are offered in our grand round series also involve faculty discussion about teaching aspects for research trainees and faculty. Of eleven sub-specialty divisions in the department, each has specific aspects of fellowship training for the discussion of teaching and assessment skills. In conjunction with the on-going IAMSE webinars and other monthly presentations, scheduled by the Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development office, frequent topics are also covered and available. Multiple venues of faculty development activities sponsored by General Internal Medicine professional organizations such as American College of Physicians as well as sub-specialty organizations, provide opportunities for each faculty member's professional development. Each faculty member is required to submit an annual faculty assessment where evaluation of teaching skills is an intrical part of that evaluation. Department expectations for teaching and other areas of service are available in the left column links of the is page.

Second, The Doctors As Teachers (DAT) Program is a 12-session course with a focus on teaching physicians the theory and skills necessary to advance as excellent teachers in medical education. Chief residents will be invited to attend this course, as well as incoming junior faculty and any senior faculty interested. DAT teaches topics on the foundations of teaching excellence including learning theories, teaching methods, motivating the learner, the difficult learner, giving feedback, setting expectations, and time management. Additionally, the course focuses on the use of advanced organizers to teach complex concepts in medicine. Each session starts with a 15-minute small group discussion to answer the Question of the Day, a question that focuses on a challenge surrounding the topic for that days session. This is followed by a 30 to 45 minute lecture to educate faculty learners on that subject. Finally, at the end of each session, 1-2 faculty learners present an approach to a clinical topic that they (and subsequently other faculty learners) can teach in the clinical setting to medical students/residents in 10 minutes or less. The goal for this approach to a clinical topic is to take the format of an advanced organizer if possible. This course is offered at the beginning of each academic year for incoming junior faculty. Check with the Department Administrator for the schedule.

All junior faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the seminars and other offerings of the school-wide Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development office, led by Dianne Durham, PhD. Visit the Faculty Training Calendar (located in the right column) and our department training programs here:

Preparing for Promotion

Typically one key component of a mentoring program is to help junior faculty members develop and articulate a three to five year career plan and specific on-year objectives that can be reviewed with the mentor on a regular basis. The Annual Faculty Assessment looks back at the accomplishments of the last year; celebrates the successes and identifies areas in need of improvement and perhaps suggests change.


Individual Development Plans

The individual development plan is entirely optional but will help a faculty member focus time, energy and resources towards achieving realistic academic career goals; both personal goals and goals by the department or division for the faculty members career. These should be matched with appropriate time allocations, a mentoring team and defined outcomes. Mentees should use this document during discussions with their formal mentor or even their Department Division Director and revise together as appropriate. To be effective it should be prepared annually and reviewed as a measurement of career growth in preparation for completing the Annual Faculty Assessment, and, maintained by the faculty mentee. At his or her discretion they may share a copy with their Department Division Director and/or Department Chair.

Four examples of plans are listed below:

Faculty Development and Mentoring Committee

Faculty development committeeThe Faculty Development & Mentoring Committee (FDC) will oversee the Department of Internal Medicine Mentoring Program. Dr. Susan K. Pingleton, MD, FACP, Master Fellow, ACCP, serves as the IM Department Director of Faculty Development (IM-DDFD) and chairs this committee. The mentoring program is based on the guidelines set forth in the University of Kansas School of Medicine Mentoring Program and will include both specific/content-oriented mentoring (e.g., specialty-specific career information) and content expertise (e.g., teaching skills, or professional writing skills used in grant writing, publications and manuscripts), as well as overall career guidance.


Due to the diverse nature of needs specific to each division specialty, the Department of Internal Medicine Mentoring Program is division based and each division director will serve as a Division Director of Faculty Development (DDFD) further developing guidelines to meet their division needs. The School of Medicine Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development office provided assistance and guidance to the FDC during the development of our Mentoring Program and this web site to ensure that all information is in congruence with the policies and procedures of the School of Medicine.

Last modified: Dec 10, 2020