Background: The importance of effective mentoring in career success is universally accepted but has not been well studied in academic medicine. Purposes: The purpose was to describe a formal mentoring program of residents by faculty in obstetrics and gynecology and assess professional and educational outcomes. Methods: In 2006, a formal mentoring program was developed. Faculty and residents were provided instruction. Residents selected their mentors and met regularly. Resident-mentor contracts were signed. Mentors developed corrective plans and monitored residents with problems. Outcomes were measured prospectively. Results: Twenty-five residents and 18 faculty participated. After 2 years, 7 residents (28%) had scientific publications as compared to 10% in the year preceding the mentoring program. Eleven (44%) presented oral or poster presentations, and 17 (68%) were conducting scientific research. Mentors' effectiveness was rated between 4.3 and 4.7 (Likert scale of 1-5). Three of 4 residents in remediation fulfilled their educational requirements. Four residents noted insufficient meeting time. Conclusion: A simple but well-organized mentoring system can be an effective means of improving resident learning and enhancing their academic portfolio. Mentoring should be strongly encouraged for residents, especially those with specific deficiencies.
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