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A new Mentor Evaluation Tool: Evidence of validity.



Mentorship plays an essential role in enhancing the success of junior faculty. Previous evaluation tools focused on specific types of mentors or mentees. The main objective was to develop and provide validity evidence for a Mentor Evaluation Tool (MET) to assess the effectiveness of one-on-one mentoring for faculty in the academic health sciences.


Evidence was collected for the validity domains of content, internal structure and relationship to other variables. The 13 item MET was tested for internal structure evidence with 185 junior faculty from Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Finally, the MET was studied for additional validity evidence by prospectively enrolling mentees of three different groups of faculty (faculty nominated for, or winners of, a lifetime achievement in mentoring award; faculty graduates of a mentor training program; and faculty mentors not in either of the other two groups) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and asking them to rate their mentors using the MET. Mentors and mentees were clinicians, educators and/or researchers.


The 13 MET items mapped well to the five mentoring domains and six competencies described in the literature. The standardized Cronbach's coefficient alpha was 0.96. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a single factor (CFI = 0.89, SRMR = 0.05). The three mentor groups did not differ in the single overall assessment item (P = 0.054) or mean MET score (P = 0.288), before or after adjusting for years of mentoring. The mentorship score means were relatively high for all three groups.


The Mentor Evaluation Tool demonstrates evidence of validity for research, clinical, educational or career mentors in academic health science careers. However, MET did not distinguish individuals nominated as outstanding mentors from other mentors. MET validity evidence can be studied further with mentor-mentee pairs and to follow prospectively the rating of mentors before and after a mentorship training program.

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