It begins with the right supervisor: Importance of mentorship and clinician-investigator trainee satisfaction levels in Canada
Clinical and Investigative Medicine
Purpose: Clinician Investigator Trainee Association of Canada/Association des clinicienschercheurs en formation du Canada (CITAC/ACCFC) represents the interests of clinician-investigator (CI) trainees across Canada. To better advocate for the successful training of CI trainees in Canada, CITAC/ACCFC conducted a survey to assess satisfaction with their training and to find what factors were most associated with satisfaction level. Methods: A nominal scale-based psychometric survey was conducted online in 2009 on CI trainees in Canada (including MD/MSc, MD/PhD, or CIP/SSP). One hundred fifteen out of a target population of approximately 350-400 responded. Survey respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction in four areas: 1) quality of training, 2) financial support, 3) mentorship satisfaction and 4) program structure. Ratings in these four areas were also combined to produce a measure of overall satisfaction. Results: At least half of the respondents were 'completely satisfied' in each of the four categories other than mentorship. While 98% of respondents considered mentorship as important to their success, 62% expressed some level of dissatisfaction with the level of mentorship received. Moreover, increased levels of mentorship were strongly associated with increased levels of overall satisfaction. Conclusion: The discrepancy between CI trainees' perceived importance of mentorship and the level of satisfaction in mentorship received reveals a strategic area where CI training should be improved. Recognizing that good mentorship in a CI training program ofien begins with one's research supervisor, the CITAC/ACCFC has compiled six specific recommendations for finding a good supervisor. © 2013 CIM.