Mentoring in the Academic General Pediatric Fellowship Program
High quality mentoring is the cornerstone of our fellowship program. A primary mentor meets weekly with each fellow to review progress, set expectations, provide project-specific as well as overall career advice, and offer feedback and guidance. Each fellow has a Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC), which consists of the mentor and 2-3 individuals selected by content area, one of whom is outside the department and generally outside the University. This SOC convenes every 6 months, or more often if needed, to assess the fellow’s performance and provide advice.
Project-specific mentors are selected according to their content expertise to guide fellows on their two research studies. In addition, all fellows receive intensive mentoring on their papers, presentations, and grant proposals. A community pediatric advisor is available to work individually with fellows on community-based projects. Dr. Neil Herendeen (director of our primary care clinic) serves as a clinical mentor and provides specific guidance and feedback regarding fellows’ clinical performance in primary care.
Some of our unique mentoring activities involve engaging the fellow in national programs, introducing them to the “culture” of the field, and helping them make the transition to faculty level positions.
Fellows have access to many mentors: not only program faculty members, but a broad and deep pool of potential mentors in research, education, community pediatrics, cultural competence and disparity reduction. Elizabeth McAnarney, M.D., Chair Emerita of Pediatrics, has a keen interest in adolescent pregnancy and healthcare. Richard Kreipe, M.D., is a rigorous educator; as director of the LEAH program he will work closely with our core faculty. Steven Sulkes, M.D., is director of the LEND program and will also collaborate closely. Robert J Haggerty, M.D., Emeritus, is an international leader in general pediatrics and community pediatrics. Thomas McInerny, M.D., has particular interest in the organization and delivery of primary care.
Numerous potential mentors who already collaborate with our faculty are based in other URMC departments. Harriet Kitzman, Ph.D., R.N., is an internationally respected expert in nursing research, home visitation, and assessment of community health. Linda Alpert-Gillis, Ph.D., directs the GPE psychology program and has expertise in linkages between mental health and pediatric services. Dirk Hightower directs the community-based Children’s Institute, which focuses on improving children’s mental and developmental outcomes through multidisciplinary innovations. Kevin Fiscella, M.D., M.P.H., is a family physician and health services researcher with expertise in coordination of care for chronic conditions. Nancy Bennett, M.D., M.S., is an internist and a public health expert and directs the Center for Community Health. Many faculty who teach in the MPH program may also be selected by fellows as mentors. For example, Ann Dozier, Ph.D., is an expert in program evaluation, and Nancy Chin, Ph.D., is a qualitative research specialist.
All potential mentors have had extramural research funding and extensive research experience: eight are products of our own generalist fellowship training programs, two are former Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars, and 17 have previously mentored generalist fellows who themselves have gone on to have successful academic careers.