Mentoring for Collaborative Leadership in Academic Medicine (M-CLAM)

To address a dearth of mentoring and to avoid the pitfalls of dyadic mentoring, we implement a novel, collaborative, group peer-mentoring model that aims to facilitate faculty in their career planning. A cohort of faculty participates in a longitudinal program that is grounded in adult learning, relationship formation, mindfulness and culture change. Sessions incorporate facilitated step-wise and values-based career planning, skill development, reflective practice and leadership development. All faculty complete detailed structured academic development plan. We tailor the program to address institutional and individual needs.

Group peer-mentoring offers a highly effective and sustainable approach to career development for early-career and mid-career faculty that addresses many of the limitations of dyadic mentoring.

Quotations of Faculty Participants in Mentoring Programs:

"The program provided the opportunity to think about and define clearly my core values, and to redefine the idea of career and success with core values in mind."

“Relationships absolutely is the magic of the program. Having heard the stories, the challenges, the life pathways of the researchers, educators, administrators, and clinicians among the 12 of us—has shown me that, at our core, we’re facing the same things, despite the fact that we have chosen different paths and have very different talents."

"It’s not the typical mentoring that I think most of us are familiar with, which is more related to technical skill and transactional skills, … this will help you get to the next level—leadership and team building and professional advancement—to what we truly want to do, how we want to develop academically, and how to get there"

"I have traced my steps and decision in my career and dissected and processed the common themes/values/goals. This process, what I consider enlightenment, has become part of me. Now, as I consider new opportunities, I actively think about my values and goals and how they match the opportunity."

"The central discovery for me of the past year in the mentoring program has been the power of reflection. In reflecting on the various domains of academic physician-hood –teacher, “healer,” colleague, leader, learner – I have had opportunities to take stock. I now hold up the resulting portrait against the one I imagined at the outset of the journey –as a medical student. I have also had the opportunity to assess the extent to which the past 15 years have measured up relative to my averred priorities and  objectives as a physician and colleague. Finally, I have been able to discern areas where I may have fallen short. Now I have an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments to get back on track to being the doctor and colleague I have always wanted to be."

"The most powerful lessons have come from our collective reflection on our work. C - Change has treated the space to not only reflect as a group but also as individual leaders. Through reflections -collective and personal- I have gained insights, learned new perspectives and retooled for the work ahead."

"It has been very important to me to meet and get to know others who are facing similar challenges and problems. The support we give each other has been one of the most important benefits of this national initiative."

"It has left me reaffirmed in using my leadership role to address race/ethnic diversity of my faculty."

"Most people I've met here are individuals I would never have encountered otherwise. Their perspectives have not always been mine and learning from them has broadened my own perspective."

"The wonderful work a diverse group of passionate, knowledgeable people can create."

"With trust and openness we discussed and confronted very difficult and sometimes painful issues."

"When we shared stories...personal experiences are so compelling and allow us to relive a defining moment through the lens of a trusted colleague. This was particularly true of the stories related by women and minority colleagues about the barriers they had to face."

Pololi LH, Evans AT. Group peer mentoring: an answer to the faculty mentoring problem? A successful program at a large academic department of medicine. J. Continuing Education in the Health Professions. 2015;35:192-200.

Pololi L. Career development for medical school faculty: a nine-step planning strategy. British Medical Journal: Careers. 2006;332:38-39.

Pololi L, Knight S. Mentoring of faculty in academic medicine: a new paradigm? J. General Internal Medicine. 2005;20:866-870.

Pololi L, Knight S, Dunn K. Facilitating scholarly writing in academic medicine: lessons learned from a collaborative peer mentoring program. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2004;19:64-68.

Pololi L, Knight S, Frankel R. Helping medical school faculty realize their dreams: an innovative collaborative mentoring program. Academic Medicine. 2002;77:377-384.