MentoringThe overall mission of the DOM Mentoring Program is to provide guidance and support for the career development and satisfaction of early career faculty members. The program has the following goals:
- To facilitate the development of a mentoring relationship for early career faculty
- To prepare faculty mentors for the mentorship role
- To develop web-based resources for mentors and mentees
- To recognize and reward mentoring
Questions? Contact us.
You will get the most out of a mentoring relationship if you are willing to take the initiative for your own development and make the most of available opportunities. Face-to-face communication is critical to the success of a mentoring relationship.
- Schedule your first appointment soon. Use email, phone, administrative assistants to get on the Mentor's schedule. Email your mentor the night before your meeting to remind him/her you are coming.
- Prepare for the first meeting by making an agenda, which includes your goals for the year, a progress report on how things are going, the best contact method, scheduling the next meeting.
- Schedule additional meetings when questions or concerns arise. You might want to discuss promotion guidelines and questions, prioritizing activities, suggested research contacts/research mentor, career development guidelines, job goals, and personal concerns if you wish.
- Arrive promptly at all appointments, and send your agenda to the mentor the night before. This makes you accountable for planning what you have to say.
- Share information and ideas. Your mentor can't help you if you don't let him/her know your thoughts and plans. Continuously seek feedback to clarify issues and questions.
- Listen nondefensively, expecting and accepting open and constructive ideas for change.
- Respect your mentor's time. Bring questions to meeting, rather than introducing many small interruptions.
- Keep your mentor informed of academic progress and difficulties.
Characteristics of a Mentee
Eagerness to learn and a respect and desire to learn from the person selected as the mentor
Respect: your mentor is there to help you in your career by pointing out the stepping stones, not being one; never forget the time and effort this person is taking to offer you a smoother path on the way to success.
Interest: your mentor will ask questions about your personal and professional life in an effort to get to know you as a whole person - do the same with your mentor. He or she also has a life outside of the institution and knowing something about it can help you communicate better
Feedback, even if nothing is requested
Promptness for all appointments
Flexibility and an understanding of this senior professional's demanding schedule (you'll be there one day)
Willingness to take the initiative in the relationship, especially in the beginning - being politely insistent about your desire for a mentor
Seriousness in the relationship
A good mentor is vested in the mentor/mentee relationship. He/she serves as coach, advisor, guide, confidant, teacher, role model, counselor, consultant, critic, advocate, etc.
When agreeing to become a mentor, a faculty member should:
- Be available- allow the faculty member to schedule the first meeting with you within the first 4-6 weeks of arriva
- Assess progress
- Stimulate questions about research interests and general career interest (clinician educator, scientist, etc) so as to guide future suggestions and get them thinking about possible options¿MSCR, lab collaborators, important meetings, etc.
- Follow up on concerns the mentee may have about performance¿teaching activities, service, research, publications
- Facilitate career development by directing mentees to other faculty members and using your influence to help them set up the meetings.
- Meet regularly, approximately every 4-6 weeks.
- Be available for impromptu meetings related to an upcoming publication, presentation, grant application or important meeting (e.g. with new research mentor, division director, etc.)
Characteristics of a Mentor
- Encourage and demonstrate confidence in your mentee.
- Provide accessibility and exposure for your mentee within your own professional circle both within and outside of the immediate university circle.
- Encourage independent behavior, but be willing to invest ample time in your mentee.
- Be liberal with feedback.
- Don't deny your own ignorance.
- Ensure a positive and supportive professional environment for your mentee.
- Recognize your mentee as an individual with a private life and value her/him as a person.
Your division has a designated mentoring facilitator (see below) who will help you identify a mentor.
Consider the following points:
- Mutual respect: Choose someone with similar scientific interests whose work you respect and who has demonstrated an interest in your success.
- Feedback: Choose someone who is willing to provide honest and constructive critiques of your work and career path, and who has the time to devote to interactions with you.
- Shared interests: Your mentor should be someone with whom you have a common interest in your major career focus, whether it be a research area, education/teaching experiences, or clinical and administrative service.
- Shared project: Ideally, your mentor might have a project in which you can become involved. Participation in this project can teach you both the written and unwritten rules applicable in your particular field.
- Selecting a Mentor: A Guide for Residents, Fellows, and Young Physicians
- Making the Most of Mentors: A Guide for Mentees
- Nature's guide for mentors
- Summary of talk by M. Harold Laughlin, Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor
- Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty
- Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty - Mentoring and Being Mentored
- What’s Next After You Say Hello: First Steps in Mentoring
- Understanding Academic Medical Centers: Simone’s Maxims
- Article on mentors by DOM faculty member Kimberly Manning, MD