Coaching, mentoring, and sponsoring as career development tools

Dean A. Seehusen, Tyler S. Rogers, Morhaf Al Achkar, Tammy Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Coaching, mentoring, and sponsoring are tools academic leaders can utilize to develop junior faculty. Each tool has a unique goal, time frame and method. It has been suggested that sponsoring may be a particularly useful tool for furthering the careers of women in medi-cine. Our primary aim was to understand to what extent one group of academic leaders—family medicine department chairs—have benefited from each tool in their own career development and how often they use each to develop oth-ers. A secondary aim was to compare women’s experiences with sponsorship to their male colleagues. METHODS: We surveyed all US family medicine department chairs electroni-cally about their experiences with coaching, mentoring, and sponsoring. We collected data from August 2019 to October 2019. RESULTS: One hundred five of 193 family medicine department chairs responded to our survey (54.4% response rate). Most indicated that mentoring played a significant role in their career development, with fewer reporting coaching and sponsorship played significant roles. More reported frequent use of mentoring to develop faculty compared to coaching or sponsoring. Training in mentoring and sponsoring was associated with increased use, but coaching was not. No gender difference was found in this study population. CONCLUSIONS: Chairs have less experience with coaching and sponsoring than mentoring. Personal experience being coached, mentored, or sponsored was associated with increased use of these tools. Formal training may increase use of mentoring and sponsoring. Contrary to our hypothesis, female chairs’ experience with sponsoring was similar to their male peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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