Mentorship in academic radiology: why it matters

Authors: Miriam A. Bredella, David Fessell & James H. Thrall

Mentorship plays a critical role in the success of academic radiologists. Faculty members with mentors have better career opportunities, publish more papers, receive more research grants, and have greater overall career satisfaction. However, with the increasing focus on clinical productivity, pressure on turn-around times, and the difficult funding climate, effective mentoring in academic radiology can be challenging. The high prevalence of “burnout” among radiologists makes mentorship even more important. This article reviews benefits and challenges of mentorship in academic radiology, discusses how to institute a faculty mentoring program, examines different types of mentoring, and reviews challenges related to diversity and inclusion.

Key points
Mentorship plays a critical role in the success of academic radiologists

Mounting pressures on academic radiologists in a changing healthcare environment can lead to physician burnout

Mentoring is an effective means to achieve career satisfaction and help prevent burnout

Establishing a mentoring program in academic radiology requires the identification and training of effective mentors, and mentees benefit from multiple mentors for different needs

Women and underrepresented minorities in medicine often do not have access to mentors but benefit most from a mentoring relationship