Program directors' views of the importance and prevalence of mentoring in internal medicine residencies

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Program directors establish priorities for residency programs. Their views of mentoring likely influence the tone about and availability of mentoring programs. This survey to all internal medicine program directors assessed attitudes toward mentoring, existence of formal mentoring programs, and features of the mentoring programs. The response was 60%. The majority (>60%) favored mentoring. Forty-nine percent of the residencies had structured mentoring programs. Programs differed in frequency of meetings, use of evaluations, and presence of curriculum. Overall, although program directors' attitudes are favorable and at least half have formal mentoring programs, the programs are largely unstructured, loosely monitored, and underevaluated.

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