Physician-scientists and scientists in all the health professions are vital members of the U.S. biomedical workforce, but their numbers at academic health centers are declining. Mentorship has been identified as a key component in retention of faculty members at academic health centers. Effective mentoring may promote the retention of clinician-scientists in the biomedical workforce. The authors describe a holistic institutional mentoring program to support junior faculty members engaged in clinical and translational science at the University of Utah. The clinical and translational scholars (CATS) program leverages the resources of the institution, including the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, to augment departmental resources to support junior faculty investigators and uses a multilevel mentoring matrix that includes self, senior, scientific, peer, and staff mentorship. Begun in the Department of Pediatrics, the program was expanded in 2013 to include all departments in the school of medicine and the health sciences. During the two-year program, scholars learn management essentials and have leadership training designed to develop principal investigators. Of the 86 program participants since fiscal year 2008, 92% have received extramural awards, 99% remain in academic medicine, and 95% remain at the University of Utah. The CATS program has also been associated with increased inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in the institutional research enterprise. The CATS program manifests institutional collaboration and coordination of resources, which have benefited faculty members and the institution. The model can be applied to other academic health centers to support and sustain the biomedical workforce.
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