Does Increasing Female, Minority Mentors Increase Success and Diversity in Cardiology?

Efforts to increase the number and visibility of female and underrepresented minority cardiology mentors may have the potential to shift the demographics within the field of cardiology and lead to increased diversity and sex balance, according to a paper published Dec. 23 in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

Islam Abudayyeh, MD, MPH, FACC, et al., conducted a survey of ACC cardiologists to assess career mentor activity and success, as well as identify the areas of greatest need. The survey was completed by 508 cardiologists. Questions focused on demographics, mentor experience, metrics of success, professional development and job satisfaction.

Results showed that mentees are more satisfied with their mentorship experience when they have had more than three mentors or a mentor from outside of their practice or institution. The authors note that a higher number of mentors may reflect an increased likelihood of finding a "good fit" mentor, and that having a mentor outside of one's institution may reflect increased networking. In addition, the characteristics that mentees desire in a mentor tended to change with time and career stage.

Importantly, survey results also showed that satisfaction with the mentoring relationship is significantly associated with perceived satisfaction in achieving professional goals.

Furthermore, the authors found that gender and race concordance in mentoring relationships was associated with positive outcomes, as well as an important variable to increase diversity in cardiology.

"Although our findings also support sex and race/ethnic concordance in mentoring relationships, sample sizes were small for some subgroups," the authors conclude. "Thus, additional research is needed to more thoroughly investigate the effect of sex and race on mentoring, career success, and professional satisfaction."

Keywords: Mentors, Job Satisfaction, Personal Satisfaction, Benchmarking, Sample Size, Minority Groups, Ethnic Groups, Cardiology

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