A survey instrument about mentoring junior healthcare administrators was mailed to 485 senior-level executives - chief executive officers, hospital administrators, and presidents. Completed surveys were returned by 127 senior executives (26 percent response rate). On average, the respondents were 53 years old, had nine years of organizational tenure in their current position, and had 16.5 years of career tenure as a senior healthcare executive. The mean age of when the respondents first had a mentor was 28 years old. The average length of the respondents' relationship with their mentor was 3.56 years. Although healthcare executives believed mentoring benefits the healthcare industry as a whole, they reported that the benefits are even greater for the hospital where mentoring is done. Personal satisfaction was cited as the primary reason for serving as a mentor. In the 127 organizations represented by the respondents, informal mentoring programs were more prevalent than formal mentoring programs. Our findings suggest that healthcare executives in formal mentoring programs may be more likely to support mentoring than individuals who entered informal mentoring relationships. Those who reported being mentors or engaging in mentoring-supportive activities had a longer job tenure and career tenure than did individuals who had not served as mentors. The study suggests that mentoring - in particular, informal mentoring - is a popular activity in U.S. hospitals and is carried out by experienced healthcare executives whose primary motivation is personal satisfaction.