Julie Bastarache, MD,
Modeled on the Tiered Mentoring Program (TMP) developed at Vanderbilt University, which allows for the development of learning communities by creating cohorts comprised of senior faculty members, junior faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from a variety of STEM programs across Vanderbilt, in 2020 the Neilson Society launched the Peer Mentoring Program (PMP) as a mechanism to create communities across divisions, research areas and training backgrounds for Assistant and Associate Professors on the tenure track in the Department of Medicine. With more than 70 tenure track faculty across the 13 divisions in the Department of Medicine, it is apparent that for the majority of faculty, aside from attending the weekly Medical Grand Rounds, many have little contact with other tenure track faculty outside of their divisions, despite their many overlapping issues, concerns, research interests and expertise. By enhancing interactions within this community it is expected that the PMP will not only provide career support for individual faculty, but will also enhance research and collaborations across divisions.
Spearheaded by Julie Bastarache M.D., Associate Professor in Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Associate Director of the Neilson Society, the society has been divided into ten small cohorts of 6-7 faculty each, comprising clinical and basic scientists from different divisions have been formed, each led by a facilitator (members of the Neilson Society Steering Committee). The goal is for each of these cohorts to meet as a group at least once a month at a time and place of their choosing, to discuss topics and issues of concern to their members.