Professional development for biomedical doctoral and postdoctoral trainees is vital, especially due to the increase in individuals pursuing non-faculty career paths. We created a professional development-focused discussion group between trainees and faculty/staff by utilizing a book club format in which monthly small group meetings occurred over an 8-month period. A pre- and post-survey consisting of Likert and free-response questions was completed by participants. Results demonstrated that after the book club, trainees: 1) were more knowledgeable about a variety of career paths; 2) had improved awareness of their interests in relation to their career; 3) were more knowledgeable of their transferrable skills; 4) were more comfortable engaging with their PI and completing/updating an Individual Development Plan; 5) were more likely to find mentors in addition to their PI to address career specific needs; and 6) were more likely to seek opportunities to conduct informational interviews or experiential learning. Additionally, we found that faculty/staff: 1) were more knowledgeable about careers outside of academia; 2) had greater consideration for their mentee's values and interests in relation to their career; 3) had a better understanding of their mentee's transferable skills; and 4) were more comfortable engaging with their mentee about their career path and addressing an Individual Development Plan. Overall, we found that the utilization of a book club consisting of trainees and faculty/staff as a professional development tool was beneficial for both groups of participants, and this format is feasible for use in biomedical education professional development.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The authors thank the Graduate School at the University of Kentucky for funding.
Ho, Jenni; Smith, Stacy E.; Oakley, Erin J.; and Vanderford, Nathan L., "The Use of a Book Club to Promote Biomedical Trainee Professional Development" (2021). Toxicology and Cancer Biology Faculty Publications. 108.