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Mentorship and Coaching

The Faculty Development team is using literature-based matching to pair KU School of Medicine mentors and mentees to form meaningful and productive mentor/mentee relationships.

Mentorship Program

We are excited to announce the School of Medicine Faculty Mentorship Program's inaugural class is underway! There has been incredible interest in this program, and we have enough participants to fill 5 groups.

If you were unable to participate in this year's group, there will be another opportunity to join later in the 21/22 academic year.

Learn more or sign up

If you are interested in participating in a new mentor/mentee relationship or learning more about the program, contact Brad Barth, M.D., at

Next Steps for Mentors and Mentees

  1. Attend at least one meet-up, email or talk to mentors in your group to decide who you would like to work with.
  2. Attend your group's quarterly meeting in September 2021 (if possible).

Please read the Mentorship FAQs (PDF) if you have questions

List of Mentors

All groups received a list of their mentors and their areas of interest. Mentees who cannot attend the meet-ups should reach out to potential mentors in their group for a brief discussion to help the mentee choose their top 3 mentors.

Meet-Up Dates

We have sent calendar invites for each group's meet-ups, plus the "Last Chance" meet-up available to all groups. Please look at the 2021 Meet-Up Dates (PDF) and double-check that these events are on your calendar. Let us know if you did not receive the invites because they include the Zoom links.

Quarterly Group Meeting

Invites will be sent for the first quarterly group meetings in September as follows:

  • Tuesday, September 21, 2021, Noon-1 p.m.: Meadow, Mountain and Upland Groups will have their meeting.
  • Thursday, September 23, 2021, Noon-1 p.m: Forest and Prairie Groups will have their meeting.

For Group Facilitators

Thank you for agreeing to be a group facilitator. We could not do this program without you! Please read the Facilitator FAQs (PDF) if you have questions. You can also watch the recording of the June 23, 2021 Facilitators Informational Meeting (video).

  • A few reminders for facilitators
    • Each group has at least 4 facilitators, 2 of whom will facilitate each quarterly meeting. This will give everyone who wants to facilitate a meeting a chance to do so. If you are not facilitating your group's quarterly meeting, please attend as a mentor or a mentee.
    • Facilitators are not needed for the meet-ups, only the quarterly meetings.
    • You will attend the meet-ups as a mentor or mentee, not as a facilitator.
    • Invites for the first quarterly meeting in September have been sent to your groups.

If you want to facilitate the September meeting or have questions, please contact Dr. Brad Barth.

Program Goals

One of the most frequent suggestions for improvement in the School of Medicine has been the need for better mentoring. Our goal is to create cross-departmental mentoring pairs that support the growth and development of faculty. Our goal is that every faculty member can identify at least one senior faculty outside their department that serves their team of mentors.

Program Expectations

The expectations are that the pairs will meet at least twice each year (more frequently is encouraged). The initial term is for two years, but if either partner wants to change at the end of one year, that is ok.


Below, there are several recorded panels and specific tips and topics to guide discussions. We will hold periodic roundtable workshops throughout the year to share best practices and problem-solve.

"Five Roles of a Mentor" Video

Date & Time (Video and Registration Links) Panelists

November 30, 2020, Noon-1 p.m. (video)



Sufi Thomas, Ph.D.
David Lisbon, M.D.
Monica Kurylo, Ph.D.
Jeff Burns, M.D.

December 9, 2020, Noon- 1 p.m. (video)

Megha Ramaswamy, Ph.D.
Belinda Vail, M.D.
Kim Templeton, M.D.
Sandra Billinger, Ph.D.
Dale Abrahamson, Ph.D.

January 26, 2021, Noon-1 p.m. (video)



Sufi Thomas, Ph.D.
Julie Christianson, Ph.D.
Alan Yu, M.B., B.Chir.

February 16, 2021, Noon-1 p.m. (video)

Megha Ramaswamy, Ph.D.
Edward Ellerbeck, M.D.

Mentoring Best Practices

We believe that you should have a team of mentors to assist you in your growth and development. It is unlikely that any one person will have all the experience, knowledge and skills to be fully able to support your growth, so we strongly recommend having several mentors. Most successful mentees report having a mentor within their field of expertise, another mentor within their institution but outside their department, and an external mentor in their specialty or areas of interest. If your goal is to grow into a unique niche, finding a mentor in that area is also helpful.

In general, the mentee should drive the process. If someone has agreed to mentor you, by definition they have said they have the time to help. In our panel discussions, mentors have consistently said they want the mentee to reach out when they have questions or need help. They are perfectly able to tell you if "now is not a good time," so don't hesitate to initiate contact. The biggest regret mentees have expressed in our panels is also that they didn't reach out often enough. We commonly heard "I didn't want to bother them," but "Every time I asked, they were happy to help."

What is the Personality Test?

There is evidence from the business literature that mentor pairs with similar personalities have more successful relationships. The sample questions below demonstrate how this plays out. The Big Five Inventory (BFI, also known as OCEAN) is the test with the widest use in the literature. The BFI is you answering questions about the way you perceive yourself. No one is judging you except for you. There is no right or wrong answer to the questions, just similarities or differences.

Sample questions and why matching with your mentor might be useful
I see myself as someone who is shy, inhibited. If you answer "Agree Strongly" and your mentor answers "Disagree Strongly", your mentor may interpret your shyness as lack of skill, interest or ability. If instead your mentor was similar, they might be able to provide advice on how to navigate that shyness.

I see myself as someone who remains calm in tense situations. If you answer "Agree Strongly" and your mentor answers "Disagree Strongly", your mentor may interpret your calm as lack of urgency, interest or understanding. Or vice-versa, if you disagree strongly, your mentor may wonder why you are stressed out or seem anxious about the project. If you and your mentor respond similarly, there are less likely to be these misinterpretations.

I see myself as someone who does a thorough job. If you answer "Agree Strongly" and your mentor answers "Disagree Strongly", your mentor may think you are putting too much pressure on them or that you're "wound too tight". Or vice-versa, if you disagree strongly your mentor may wonder why you aren't interested in getting the project done. Again, if you were matched with someone with a similar style, those misunderstandings are less likely to arise.

You are welcome to complete the personality survey or not, but no one will be examining your answers.

Matching Process

We expect to have 200-300 faculty participate in this program.

  • The algorithm will first sort all survey respondents into groups based on BFI scores.
  • These groups will then be sorted into smaller groups to find someone that has the skill you desire.
  • We will organize several small group sessions of mentors and mentees with similar interests to select mentors. There should be multiple opportunities to attend a mentor matching small group session.
  • First priority will be matching the quintile score in the OCEAN categories.
  • Second priority will be the thing you want to be mentored in (or mentor about).
  • Third will be random matching (which will happen if you don't select any categories or complete the personality survey.
  • You are welcome to complete the personality survey or not.

For reference on our program development, review our selected bibliography (doc).

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Faculty Affairs and Development (FAD)
School of Medicine
Mail Stop 1049
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160-1049