Being a mentor brings many benefits to the mentor as well as the mentee. In academic medicine, the ability to pass on knowledge and skills is a deeply satisfying accomplishment that takes your expertise forward not just to the mentee but also into generations to come. Mentorship can be shared or individual and take place in many venues such as a formal or informal facilitator to a peer mentoring group, as a one year onboarding mentor, as a one on one mentor in the lab or in clinics or the Operating Room, as part of an ongoing research development seminar or as a sponsor to connect your mentee to others locally, nationally, or internationally. Passing on knowledge and skills to others is one of the true joys of academic lives.
Mentors can be coaches, tutors, counselors, sponsors—or combinations of more than one of these. In entering into a mentoring relationship, it is important to be clear about expectations:
- what roles the mentee thinks you will fulfill
- the expectations, goals and objectives that your mentee has.
- A Mentoring agreement makes sure those expectations are clear on both sides.
- Listening and Feedback both ways help secure the relationship
What are my strengths as a Mentor and how can I continue to improve?
- Consider attending a “Mentor orientation” to learn more about types of mentoring
- Use the resources of the mentoring website
- Ask for feedback from your mentees
What is important to make a mentor/ mentee relationship work and what do I do if it is not working?
The Office of Faculty Affairs is committed to make sure that all faculty have access to quality mentoring if they want this. A critical part of this is supporting our mentors in achieving the goals and objectives of the mentee and continually improving their skills. Ongoing programs for advanced mentoring skills are offered occasionally. However, the professional staff of the OFA are all seasoned mentors and happy to brainstorm options and solutions with faculty to mentoring issues.