Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Formal Pharmacist Mentorship Program
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BACKGROUND: Mentoring is associated with positive professional and personal outcomes. However, there are few published data on mentoring programs for pharmacists. OBJECTIVE: To develop and evaluate a mentorship program for hospital pharmacists that was implemented at St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, in Hamilton, Ontario, by identifying the benefits and challenges that participants experienced and determining whether the program provided the necessary skills for a successful mentoring relationship. METHODS: A descriptive pilot study was performed between June 2007 and November 2008. Focus groups and self-administered questionnaires were conducted at two time points (after 3-4 months and at the end of the study period). The focus groups were conducted separately for mentors and mentees. Data were summarized by predefined categories. Quantitative data from the questionnaires were summarized as medians, minimums, and maximums, and qualitative survey data were transcribed and reviewed. RESULTS: Three mentors were each paired with a mentee. The mentees identified an average of 4 learning objectives. All of the mentees reported improvements in their self-perceived level of competency and skill within the mentoring relationship and their confidence in their ability to perform the functions of a hospital pharmacist. The job satisfaction of both mentors and mentees improved. Reported challenges were related to scheduling and documentation. Mentors and mentees reported high levels of overall satisfaction with the program, at both of the evaluation time points. Participants spent less than 60 min/week each on mentoring activities. CONCLUSIONS: Both mentors and mentees benefited from the mentoring relationship.