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December 25, 1996

Challenges for Junior Faculty: Mentoring and Family

Author Affiliations

Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University Morgantown

JAMA. 1996;276(24):1954. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540240032022

To the Editor.  —We would like to commend Dr Fried and her colleagues1 on their work in developing an institutional strategy to enhance the growth of women in academic medicine. The intervention was thought to have benefited both men and women in academics as well as increased the retention of women in academic medicine. However, the intervention was designed and implemented in a large university-affiliated department of medicine involving 188 full-time, tenure-track faculty. Whether such an intervention would be effective in smaller or newly established academic settings is questionable for a variety of reasons. First, small or newly established academic departments with fewer faculty members, of whom a minority are in the tenure track, often lack both senior faculty with strong leadership skills and role models to guide the development of more junior faculty. Second, the lack of experienced researchers in such settings where a research track record has