"Having a good mentor early in one’s career can mean the difference between success and failure in any career."
Nature. June 2007
- Qualities for Success
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Goal Setting
Qualities for Success
- Exhibit admirable personal qualities, including enthusiasm, compassion, and selflessness
- Act as a career guide, offering a vision but purposefully tailoring support to each mentee
- Make strong time commitments with regular, frequent, and high-quality meetings
- Support personal/professional balance
- Leave a legacy of how to be a good mentor through role modeling and instituting policies that set global expectations and standards for mentorship
Self-Assessment: How good a mentor are you?
As a mentor, are you available? Do you appreciate individual differences? Are you able to use self-direction and questioning in guiding your mentee? Do you celebrate in your mentee’s success? Are you able to provide your mentee with not only skill development, but networking opportunities, as well?
Cho CS, Ramanan RA, Feldman MD. Defining the Ideal Qualities of Mentorship: A Qualitative Analysis of the Characteristics of Outstanding Mentors. American Journal of Medicine. May 2011; Vol. 124 (5): 453-458.
Lee A, Dennis C, Campbell P. Nature’s guide for mentors. Nature. June 2007; Vol. 447(14): 791-797.
Mentoring relationships are often tailored to the mentoring needs in terms of providing career advancement interventions and psychosocial support. Mentors are encouraged to establish early on the expected roles and responsibilities of the relationship with their mentee.
Prepare for the mentoring relationship:
- Mentors should evaluate their own mentoring skills.
- Review mentees Individual Development Plan (IDP), CV, and Mentee Self-Assessment Form prior to first meeting.
- Review and understand the promotion and tenure criteria as they pertain to your mentee’s track and rank.
Cultivate the mentoring relationship:
- Meet with mentees regularly, often quarterly or more often based on needs. Mentees should be advised to establish the schedule/timeline and lead the meetings with an agenda.
- Be available for urgent situations as they arise.
- Serve as a role model for faculty behavior in relationships with colleagues, administration, staff, patients, learners, and the community.
- Participate in mentoring evaluation and feedback.
Assist mentee with career guidance and provide career advancement interventions:
- Aid the mentee in goal setting by establishing achievable, realistic, and time specific career goals via an Individual Development Plan (IDP).
- Encourage and assist in the facilitation, completion, and submission of scholarly projects.
- Help the mentee acquire the skills necessary for a successful career (i.e. research skills, time management, manuscript preparation, grant writing, presentation skills.)
- Review and critique the mentee’s work (i.e. scholarly projects, manuscripts, teaching methods, clinical work, feedback, CV, promotion package.)
- Provide advice about opportunities that will advance the mentee’s career in terms of service, research, education, and/or clinical care.
- Provide connections and collaboration for the mentee with others in the academic community including opportunities for presentations, scholarship, and extramural funding.
- Invite mentee to networking events and career related social occasions.
- Provide institutional knowledge and memory in terms of navigating the where’s, how’s, and who’s. Where to find resources, how to get certain things done, who has the power and influence?
- Advocate for your mentee within the department, institution, and specialty. (i.e. for protected time, assist in negotiating with chair, recommend for an award, sponsorship for committee)
- Provide guidance for work-life balance and integration.
Additional Articles of Interest:
- Detsky, AD, Baerlocher, MO. Academic Mentoring-How to Give It and How to Get It. JAMA. May 16, 2007; Vol. 297(19):2134-2136.
- Bauchner, Howard. Mentoring Clinical Researchers. Arch Dis Child. 2002, 87;82-84
- Lee A, Dennis C, Campbell P. Nature’s guide for mentors. Nature. June 2007; Vol. 447(14): 791-797.
Note: Adapted from University of Arizona Faculty Mentoring Website and UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program Website. April 2011
One of the critical responsibilities for a mentoring relationship is to aid the mentee in setting and achieving career goals for short and long term aspirations, as well as, periodically evaluating new opportunities that arise. In addition, framing these career goals with respect to personal life ambitions and commitments is often necessary.
- We encourage mentors to utilize these templates to assist your mentee in establishing career goals, a work-life integration strategy, and evaluating opportunities that arise.
- Encourage mentee to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) at the beginning of each academic year and update annually.
- Assess the viability of the IDP and work-life integration strategy and provide honest feedback.
- Establish a clear understanding of your role in assisting your mentee in achieving his/her goals. Is your role to advise, suggest or listen? Will your mentee’s goals require you to provide something other than guidance? How can you be most helpful to your mentee?
Adapted the Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (LAMP) at Indiana University School of Medicine and the UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program website. April 2011.
Prepare before the first meeting...
During your meetings…
Meeting Structure for a 60 min meeting…
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Mentees require honest, candid, time sensitive feedback from their mentor. Reciprocal and on-going feedback between the mentor and mentee is vital to the mentoring partnership. Click the image on the left to view a diagram of mentor/mentee feedback.
IUSM OFAPD LAMP session on “Feedback” by Dr. Mary Cicarelli
Zachary, Lois J. Creating a Mentoring Culture. Jossey-Bass: A Wiley Imprint. San Francisco, Ca. 2005.