Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

The COMSEP Mentoring Pilot  Initial Results and Next Steps

Alicia . Freedy,Virginia Commonwealth University - Inova Campus,Falls Church,VA,Amy Fleming,Vanderbilt University School of Medicine,Nashville,Tennessee,Jennifer Koestler,New York Medical College,Valhalla,New York,Sherilyn Smith,University of Washington School of Medicine,Seattle,WA,Anna B. Newcomb,VCU School of Medicine Inova Campus,Falls Church,VA,Amber W. Trickey,VCU School of Medicine Inova Campus,Falls Church,VA


Mentorship is a critical element of professional development. Clinician-educators report difficulty identifying mentors to support their growth.  This pilot attempted to provide a structured mentoring program and enhance the way mentoring relationships are fostered, benefiting COMSEP members who wish to be mentors and those seeking mentorship.


1.    Describe a formal mentoring program that functions outside of a single institution
2.    Apply a continual improvement process to identify barriers and innovations encountered by  participants in the program
3.    Propose initial recommendations and tools for structured mentoring programs


Initial cohort participants (100%) responded to the survey, reporting: 1) 70% established areas to work on, two-thirds changed projects and 2) mentoring program led to: active engagement in educational scholarship (50%), improved work/life balance (30%), leading at the next level (20%).

In the focus groups, participants 1) described the experience as rewarding, feasible, providing positive connection with COMSEP; 2) appreciated inter-institutional connections and growth opportunities; 3) suggested greater guidance regarding goal setting and expectations; 4) requested COMSEP assistance creating a “mentorship learning community” to share best practices and expand organizational interest.


The next cohort will be recruited in 2016 with an expanded scope of the program, including:
1)    needs assessment to determine areas of expertise and number of mentors,
2)    faculty development for dyads, addressing multiple topics to including  goal setting,
3)    working with administration to create a COMSEP mentoring website to house resources for the  program