Honorary Fellowship Awards and Professional Development in Psychiatry
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Honorary fellowship awards are given each year by professional organizations in recognition of the achievements and future promise of psychiatric trainees. No data have been published to evaluate the characteristics of, or effects on, awardees. A 50-item instrument was developed to test four hypotheses. The confidential survey was mailed to award recipients identified by six major professional psychiatric associations. Data were analyzed by comparing responses with χ2 statistics and repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance. Responses from the award recipients from five of the organizations (N = 182, response rate = 55%) were analyzed. Fellowship awards were perceived as helpful to professional development. Certain fellowship-related experiences were seen as more important than others, and these varied as a function of the awarding organization and by gender. The awards had less importance than the recipients expected. Meeting with colleagues and leaders or mentors, prestige associated with the awards, networking, and learning about academic and organizational psychiatry were valued by the recipients. Enrichment of mentoring opportunities was identified as an area for improvement. The recipients described later involvement with professional organizations. Honorary fellowship award recipients represent a widely accomplished group of psychiatrists, who report their fellowship award experiences overall as beneficial to their career development. Perceived differences in fellowship programs should be interpreted in light of their varying goals, composition, and structures. Greater efforts to mentor awardees should be considered by fellowship programs.
KeywordsProfessional Development American Psychiatric Association Academic Psychiatry Fellowship Program Mentor Relationship
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