WHAT IS MENTORING?
"A mentor by definition according to Merriam-Webster is 'a trusted counselor or guide'. In academic medicine, mentoring is a key aspect of personal and career development for the achievement of goals and aspirations. Educators believe that everyone should have a mentor, and the Department of Medicine would like to facilitate this process by introducing faculty to potential mentors.
Mentors often share knowledge and life experience, and can help with networking and connections to resources."
Vision of the program
“By having a mentorship program, the Department of Medicine would like to promote mentor-mentee relationships. Additional goals include creating a welcoming environment for new faculty, providing support for ongoing job satisfaction and optimal performance in the workplace, and enhancing professional development. The DOM would like to assist in matching mentors and mentees, and support the ongoing development of such connections, but would also leave the ongoing maintenance of these connections up to the individuals themselves.’
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What am I expected to do? Mentors are expected to provide their mentee with about one hour of support and interaction per month. Most of this interaction will take place via email, phone and other web-related tools (for example, instant messaging) or face-to-face, as appropriate. Mentors should work with their mentee to determine what kind of support will be most useful—specific feedback related to general career advice, information on higher studies, technical information, personal encouragement, and so on.
- How long will the commitment be? We ask our mentors to make commitments of at least one year in order to ensure that the mentee is able to fully benefit from the relationship. If a mentor must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background.
- Relationship is not going well or I am concerned about mentorship, what to do? We encourage letting the mentee know about the situation and contact the Admin Immediately. We will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
- Commit to at least one interaction/hour of support per month.
- Take responsibility to initiate the relationship.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and honor all appointments.
- Invite the mentee to meetings or activities, as appropriate. Schedule meetings with planned topics.
- Be flexible on meeting times and places.
- Arrange frequent contacts through telephone, email, fax, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate
- Respond to emails from your mentee in a timely matter.
- Keep information that your mentee has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the mentee needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
- Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
- Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
- Provide honest and timely feedback to your mentee.
- Provide opportunities for the mentee to talk about concerns and ask questions.
- Above all, listen.
- Try to give advice on everything.
- Encourage mentee to be totally dependent upon you.
- Provide your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc unless they are constructive contributions.
- Be too busy when the mentee needs your friendship or your support. If you do not have time, give the mentee a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.
Adapted from American Academy of Pediatrics website
The mentoring process is a two way street. The Mentee is someone who seeks to grow personally, develop professionally and successfully reach his/her goals with the support of a mentor. The mentee takes responsibility and is actively involved in the mentoring relationship. They should be a good listener, organized, efficient, responsible and engaged.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How do I choose a Mentor? The Department of Medicine will ask you to fill out a quick survey and assign you a mentor who who shares similar interests.
- How long will the mentors be available? We ask our mentors to make commitments of at least one year in order to ensure that the mentee is able to fully benefit from the relationship. If a mentor must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background.
- Relationship is not going well or I am concerned about membership, what to do? We encourage letting the mentor know about the situation and contact the Admin immediately. We will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
- Take a proactive role in shaping up the relationship.
- Understand what you want from the mentoring relationship and communicate your goals and aspirations to your mentor. Balance personal and professional relationship with your mentor.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and keep all scheduled appointments with your mentor.
- Maintain professional and courteous communications.
- Put the time with mentor to the best use. Come to meetings with mentor prepared with planned topics.
- Respond in a timely manner to your mentor's feedback. Respond to emails from your mentor at most two days after receipt.
- Be open and honest with your mentor about your challenges and weaknesses.
- If something concerning the mentor needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
- Ask for advice on everything.
- Have a hidden agenda in each request.
- Blame the mentor if his or her advice doesn't work out.
- Expect the mentor to know all the answers.
- Commit yourself to obligations you cannot keep.
- Cancel meetings/visits with your mentor at the last minute.
Adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics website