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Current mentorship practices in the training of the next generation of clinical microbiology and infectious disease specialists: an international cross-sectional survey

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David S. Y. Ong, Thea Christine Zapf, Muge Cevik, Zaira R. Palacios-Baena, Aleksandra Barać, Cansu Cimen, Alberto E. Maraolo, Caroline Rönnberg, Emmanuelle Cambau, Mario Poljak, Trainee Association of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID)

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The purpose of this study was to describe the current practice of mentorship in clinical microbiology (CM) and infectious diseases (ID) training, to identify possible areas for improvement and to assess the factors that are associated with satisfactory mentorship. An international cross-sectional survey containing 35 questions was answered by 317 trainees or specialists who recently completed clinical training. Overall, 179/317 (56%) trainees were satisfied with their mentors, ranging from 7/9 (78%) in non-European countries, 39/53 (74%) in Northern Europe, 13/22 (59%) in Eastern Europe, 61/110 (56%) in Western Europe, 37/76 (49%) in South-Western Europe to 22/47 (47%) in South-Eastern Europe. However, only 115/317 (36%) respondents stated that they were assigned an official mentor during their training. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, the satisfaction of trainees was significantly associated with having a mentor who was a career model (OR 6.4, 95%CI 3.5–11.7), gave constructive feedback on work performance (OR 3.3, 95%CI 1.8–6.2), and knew the family structure of the mentee (OR 5.5, 95%CI 3.0–10.1). If trainees felt overburdened, 70/317 (22%) felt that they could not talk to their mentors. Moreover, 67/317 (21%) stated that they could not talk to their mentor when unfairly treated and 59/317 (19%) felt uncertain. Training boards and authorities responsible for developing and monitoring CM&ID training programmes should invest in the development of high-quality mentorship programmes for trainees in order to contribute to the careers of the next generation of professionals.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-665
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Mentorship, Education, Training, Clinical microbiology, Infectious diseases, Mentoring

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