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Lessons Learned from a Failed Mentorship Program

Mentorship may offer protégés numerous benefits including improved self-esteem, increased interest in research, and/or enhanced productivity. Without proper planning, reflection, and evaluation, however, mentorship programs may result in undesirable consequences. In this presentation, we describe a mentorship program designed to improve psychosocial support and professional development for residents, that while initially successful, was terminated due to perceptions of inequity that led to strife among residents and ultimately created a toxic learning climate. We use the lessons learned from this program to guide you through a discussion of the benefits of and obstacles to creating a mentoring program. We will then work through the steps of developing a mentoring program to include determining your vision, selecting mentors, onboarding mentors, pairing mentors and mentees, and evaluating your program.