Mentoring is a key element in academic success and can take many forms, both formal and informal. The Department of Medicine has a strong commitment to and culture of mentoring. Our goal is to provide a mentor for every junior faculty member.

How do I get a mentor?

Your mentor should have been assigned to you either in your offer letter, or at the time of your appointment as part of your onboarding. If you do not yet have a mentor, please contact your division head.

Information for mentees

A mentee should:

  • Be proactive
  • Develop short- and long-term goals
  • Consider multiple mentors
  • Be available and responsive
  • Follow through on commitments
  • Show gratitude and appreciation

Selecting a mentor:

  • Look at areas of interest (CV, publications)
  • Research, clinical and/or teaching reputation
  • Mentoring reputation (talk to former/current trainees – where are they now?)
  • Time commitment and availability

Mentee meeting checklist:

  • Provide agenda prior to meeting
  • Have clear, well-defined objectives
  • Ask for what you want
  • Have a plan to meet short- and long-term goals
  • Keep IDP and CV up-to-date
  • Be receptive to feedback

Information for mentors

A mentor’s role is to:

  • Guide and support
  • Focus on professional and personal development
  • Listen to mentee’s expressed needs
  • Share knowledge, skills, resources
  • Celebrate successes
  • Encourage life outside work

A successful mentor will support by listening, providing feedback, advocating and sharing; challenge by setting tasks, establishing high standards and providing a mirror; and will create a vision for the mentees successful career.

One of the most important gifts a mentor can provide a mentee is time.

Mentor meeting checklist:

  1. Set aside adequate time for meetings
  2. Review mentee’s CV and Individual Development Plan (IDP) prior to meeting
  3. Clarify expectations on both sides
  4. Review mentee’s short/long-term goals
  5. Know the advancement and promotion policies for your mentee’s rank, track and pathway
  6. Be aware of potential conflicts of interest if you are both a supervisor and mentor

Mentoring: The Ten Commandments

For the mentee:

  1. Take initiative
  2. Choose a role model
  3. Find a niche
  4. Look for compatible interests and communication styles
  5. Define your project and role
  6. Think big
  7. Focus on concepts and techniques
  8. Focus, focus, focus
  9. Seek advice
  10. Shop around

For the mentor:

  1. Be a role model
  2. Be an advocate
  3. Be enthusiastic and encouraging
  4. Critically evaluate projects and career goals
  5. Encourage individuality and differentiation
  6. Guidance not ownership
  7. Focus, focus, focus
  8. Take the long view
  9. Push the limits
  10. Market your product


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Roberts, D. H., Schwartzstein, R. M., & Weinberger, S. E. (2014). Career Development for the Clinician–Educator. Optimizing Impact and Maximizing Success. Annals of the American        Thoracic Society, 11(2), 254-259.

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