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Step 3. Start a Mentoring Relationship

Start here if you have identified a mentor and wish to establish a mentoring relationship. If you do not have an individual in mind, go to Step 1: Define Your Needs to define your mentoring needs, or to Step 2: Identify Your Mentor.

To be effective and productive you must put thought and effort into the mentoring relationship. Pay attention to the following:


A focused ask for mentoring on a specific topic is likely to be more successful than a broader, vaguer request. Once your mentor has agreed, respect their time and effort and use the opportunity wisely.

Example: Jane Brown, MD

Jane says: “There’s a member of the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), who seems to have the right expertise. Here goes . . .

Dear Dr. Smith:
I am an Assistant Professor in ObGyn. I’m planning to create a new fourth year elective on reproductive endocrinology. I know the content but need help with curriculum development. I saw that you had developed a similar course last year — would you have the time to advise me?”