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Hopkins Medicine Magazine - Mentoring's Mensch

Hopkins Medicine Winter 2013

Mentoring's Mensch

Date: February 1, 2013

“I really love mentoring, coaching, and helping to guide young faculty,” says Ziegelstein.
“I really love mentoring, coaching, and helping to guide young faculty,” says Ziegelstein.

Roy Ziegelstein didn’t set out to be a cardiologist. But when he came to Johns Hopkins for his internal medicine residency in the late 1980s, he says being exposed to “unbelievable role models” and mentors in the division—both on the wards and in the lab—inspired him to change course.

That’s when life was great for up-and-coming faculty: Start-up packages were the norm, NIH funding was plentiful, and identifying like-minded mentors was natural.

“It was expected that you would develop into a grant-funded ‘triple threat,’ and you had mentors right next to you who connected you to the right people to make that happen,” says Ziegelstein, vice chairman of the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

In today’s “lean, mean environment,” Ziegelstein says, federal research money is in shorter supply, so faculty have larger demands to raise revenue clinically. This leaves less time for educational activities and mentoring, so today’s more diverse house staff and young faculty may not find it as easy to find mentors.

“The system is much less primed,” says Ziegelstein, a leader in research on depression and cardiovascular disease. “People see their senior mentors struggling to get funding. The theory is that the triple threat doesn’t exist anymore.”

Now, as the new senior associate dean for faculty development, Ziegelstein hopes to reignite mentoring and skills development for all faculty. To lead the charge, Vice Dean for Faculty Janice Clements has assembled a team, which includes Ziegelstein; Barbara Fivush, associate dean of the Office of Women in Science and Medicine; Chiquita Collins, assistant dean of the Office of Diversity; David Yousem, associate dean of professional development in the office of Faculty Development; Maura McGuire, assistant dean of the Office of Part-time Faculty; and Cynthia Rand, associate dean for faculty development at Bayview.

The team is looking to develop mentor-matching services and to establish “master mentors” within each department to help several mentees. They’ll also promote course offerings and meet with deans and department heads to promote their services. Ziegelstein and others in the Office of Faculty Development will be available for one-on-one coaching.

There has been a range of faculty development programs in place for a while, Ziegelstein says, but they may not have been used to the extent they could be.

“I really love mentoring, coaching, and helping to guide young faculty,” he says. “It’s one of my favorite things to do here.”

A key advantage of being at Hopkins, he says, is the vast number of faculty experts and resources: “I’ve been here for 26 years, and I know a lot of people and resources,” he says. “Sometimes that’s all it takes.”  Karen Blum

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