Training and Courses

To develop a training scheme for your mentors program, consider the following:

  1. Assess baseline of your mentors 
    1. Have your mentors, or your prospective mentors, assess the extent to which they are ready for the mentoring commitment, and their skill level:  
      1. Mentor Readiness Check-list: Self-assessment tool to identify areas that establish mentor’s preparation to engage with a junior colleague as a mentor. 
      2. Mentor Skills Inventory: Self-assessment tool to take stock of the mentor’s abilities or willingness to perform certain skills that are necessary for effective relationships.
  2. Learn Together: Develop the Mentor Community
    1. Establish a regularly scheduled meeting for the mentors, say 1-hour every month, which will be the space to discuss their work, receive training, share and give advice, and support each other in other ways.  Give a name to the Mentor Community of the program to establish its identity and membership.
    2. Topics for Mentor Monthly Meetings (examples): Initial conversations; what are your mentee’s challenges; what are your challenges with your mentee(s); what are topics of training; how are we evaluating our success as mentors; as a program; listening in to presentations from key resource people.
  3. Agree on your program processes
    1. For example, how to manage difficult situations; confidentiality or other concerns; how often should the mentor-meetings take place; what is the process for bringing in other mentors; what activities could the program hold to bring together mentees and mentors together socially and/or professionally.
  4. Develop an accountability plan for the mentors 
    1. Based on the baseline assessments, what activities or steps will the mentor(s) do in order to bridge any gaps related to their readiness or skill.  Are there any administrative reporting requirements; e.g., number of meetings; goals set with the mentees..etc.

Training Courses

Many mentors who feel ready to mentor have motivations that range from interest in influencing younger generations to paying back and finding purpose in their later, more senior years. However, many mentors with great motivations could be lacking skills to effectively provide the various elements of support needed by a younger mentee.  One way to mitigate this gap is by establishing a mentoring program mission, clearly defined, with structure and baseline goals and expectations from mentors related to behaviors, topics of discussions and standards of professionalism.  A shared mental picture of what a mentor role is in your program helps further the program’s goals, and provide evidence for its impact down the road. 

Successful mentoring programs at Stanford create opportunities that cultivate this shared mental picture of understanding mentoring roles and processes.  This can be done through formal courses or other modalities. 


1. Stanford School of Medicine Mentor Training course at Stanford 

This self-paced course carries 2.5 hours of Continuing Medical Education credit that can be obtained upon completion of the course.  The course’s main themes are good and bad starts; stress; mood; gender and inter-generational dynamics; and giving and receiving feedback.  The course includes research evidence, readings, self-assessment tools, and several recorded vignettes of common mentoring experiences among faculty. 

2. Teaching and Mentoring Academy at the School of Medicine

The TMA holds regular workshops for faculty on mentoring. A 3-part workshop series is usually offered at regular intervals. Education Day is a TMA annual event that also offers opportunities to learn about mentoring practices.

3. National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)

This NIH-funded national network of mentors offers extensive resources and training for researchers in STEM field, from undergraduates through faculty career stages.  Explore the website for the NRMN workshops and resources for mentoring junior faculty.  Requires setup of an account (free).

Other Training Modalities

  1. Research Readings
  2. Short Guidelines (see examples of Quick Guide at the end of this section)
  3. Workshops at conferences and professional associations

A good practice for the Mentor Community of your program is to have a reading (paper, book, article) on a related topic that the group discusses in their monthly meeting.  The OAA Faculty Mentoring Portal resources lists pertinent literature, and so would a simple search of journals such as Teaching and Learning in Medicine and Academic Medicine