Mentoring Our Future Gatekeepers

Hernandez headshotWritten by Lyndon Hernandez, MD, MPH, FASGE, Chair of the GIE Editorial Review Board

Early in one’s career, the more you do endoscopic procedures or publish research papers, the better and more efficient you get at it. For those fortunate enough, this resulted from a strong foundation of training during fellowship, followed by enthusiastic support from mentors. But this is often not the case in peer review of clinical research papers, where little or no formal training ever existed back in the days of training and no ongoing feedback is given on how well you are doing. Reviewing papers follows no set formula, and therefore requires not just skill, but also art and practice. Moreover, reviewing has no place in our clinical lives, and so it repeatedly gets relegated to after-work hours. And even though it tends to be isolating, learning how to review a paper need not be shouldered alone.

One of the most valuable resources of GIE is our excellent, dedicated reviewers who can give seasoned advice and feedback. These high-performing reviewers have honed their skills for many years and have attained relevant experience and broad perspective in their areas of interest.

We hope to establish a connection between reviewers who are new to GIE and our senior reviewers. The aim of our program is for new reviewers to develop skills needed to systematically critique a clinical research paper, within an inquiry-based mentoring program that will accelerate learning.

We have started a pilot program with 6 pairs of mentors and mentees with a structured time for engagement and where we will track each pair’s progress over time. Because little work has been done on mentoring future gatekeepers of scientific discovery, much less on reviewers in our field of interest, we definitely have much to learn from this process. And what’s in it for mentors? They realize their impact on the future of endoscopy, and teaching can be a rewarding, learning experience as well. Ultimately, both mentees and mentors stand to reap benefits when our reviewer pool is incrementally replenished with young, dynamic endoscopic researchers.

Interested in becoming a reviewer for GIE? Visit the Reviewer Page or contact the GIE Editorial Office at gie@asge.org.

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