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LETTER: The Value of a Structured On-Boarding Peer Mentorship Program


To demonstrate the impact of a structured peer mentorship program in a large size service-oriented hospitalist group with 71 full-time hospitalist and 21 full-time APPs serving a daily census of 400 patients, we piloted a structured peer mentorship project from June 2015 until December 2015 with 10 new hospitalist hires. Each new hire was paired with a senior hospitalist colleague for a total of four weeks over a period of two months and the outcomes were measured through a 10-question anonymous survey at the end of 90 days. The survey response rate was 80%. The questions pertained to the effectiveness of mentorship program, practice group culture orientation, adherence to high-yield patient satisfaction behaviors related to Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, work efficiency, job satisfaction, navigating through various hospital floors, efficient clinical staff communication, hand of care sign-out process, understanding of various hospitalist shifts and open-ended feedback.

Our results revealed that 100% of the new hires recommended to continue the on-boarding mentorship program on a permanent basis and 95% of the responses on the Likert scale were either very positive or positive. The total cost of the mentorship program was estimated to be 2-3 moon-lighting shifts ($2400-$3600) for the group. This cost was mainly associated with extra staffing needed during the first half of the shadowing week since the mentor was carrying half of the daily census. The marginal benefits of the program were far more and long lasting than the short-term cost. The program assisted in early acclimatization to the practice group culture, provider engagement and satisfaction and early productivity. It also has the potential to increase retention in a high-turnover hospitalist work field. We conclude that effective peer mentorship can play an important role in the organizational success of a large hospitalist program. Successful mentoring programs require proper understanding, planning, resource allocation, implementation and evaluation. From increased morale to increased productivity, the benefits are numerous. Mentoring is a tangible way to show employees that they are valued and that the organization’s future includes them.

Muhammad Nabeel, MD, FACP, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, GRMEP; Hospitalist, Spectrum Health Medical Group, Grand Rapids, MI

Rashelle Ludolph, MHA, MBA (Second Author), Director Operations, Acute Care Medicine, Spectrum Health Medical Group, Grand Rapids, MI

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