Paired Mentors with Mentee Model to Attract and Retain Novice Faculty Workforce
Purpose: Currently there is a significant shortage of qualified physical therapy faculty for DPT programs. In addition, new faculty may have terminal academic degrees but may lack sufficient teaching and research experiences. Mentorship is a valuable resource for physical therapy faculty, particularly for faculty who have clinical training but lack academic experience in meeting the criteria for promotion and tenure. This is a case study of a structured paired mentors with mentee model. Methods/Description: The mentee was a recent hire at a newly developing DPT program in the south and the mentors were two senior faculty members; an internal and external mentor model. This mentorship consisted of five-part series; 1) Established a formal meeting between administration from each institution to confirm support for the mentorship program, 2) Identified two faculty members to serve as mentors; an internal faculty member, the Program Director from the hiring institution, and an external faculty member (tenured associate rank) with foundational and contemporary expertise for Gross Anatomy which matched the novice faculty member workload, 3) Discussed mentor-mentee expectations and timelines, 4) Engaged in formal training opportunity focusing on both foundational knowledge and contemporary skills related to teaching a Gross Anatomy course (i.e., face-to-face and flipped classrooms, laboratory assignments and experiences), and 5) Provided ongoing personal support related to personal and professional opportunities, (i.e., attendance of professional conferences and membership to specific interest groups) to promote growth and success of the new faculty. Results/Outcomes: The paired mentor-mentee model provided a collegial relationship and enhanced career development for both mentor and mentee. Implementing this paired mentorship model may assist other programs who hire novice faculty members. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: There are very few formal mentorship models that exist in Doctor of Physical Therapy programs for novice faculty. This paired mentorship model consisting of internal and external mentors working with the mentee may help bridge the gap of the academic needs of a novice faculty member and ensure success for promotion and/or tenure.