SCPA Women in Psychiatry Mentorship Program

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“Sometimes you have to let a person go so they can grow. Because, over the course of their lives, it is not what you do for them, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them a successful human being.”

Marc Chernoff

Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.

John C. Crosby

About this project:
This project is being sponsored by a generous grant from the Membership Committee of the APA based on a grant written by Dr. Rachel Houchins in August of 2015.  The grant will run for one year but we hope to establish a mentorship program that can provide support for women psychiatrists long after that time. The goal is to provide meaningful relationships for mentors and mentees as well as to advance the success of the residents, fellows and women in all stages of their careers in South Carolina.  Ultimately this Mentorship Program may be shared with other District Branches of the APA throughout the country.

Relevance to SCPA and APA strategic plan:
Part of the APA strategic plan is  “Supporting and increasing diversity within the APA; serving the needs of evolving, diverse, underrepresented and underserved patient populations; and working to end disparities.”  We feel that by supporting women who are early in their career as a psychiatrist we can increase diversity and women’s involvement in the SCPA and APA.   Multiple studies have shown that women benefit more from formal mentoring programs than their male counterparts and that women with mentors are more active in their local and national groups.  This will ultimately serve the needs of underserved populations including women, children and minorities by supporting so many female providers.

Projected Goals and Outcomes:
The goal would be to improve the participation and activity of young female psychiatrists in the SCPA and ultimately the APA.  Likewise improving the satisfaction of young female physicians with their career choice and providing them with increased support during formative years of their career would improve the opportunity for them to become involved in research, education and other important activities.   Outcomes of the program would be measured by evaluations completed by mentors and mentees and by evaluation of whether the program helps increase the number of young women APA members in the SCPA in the coming years.

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