Alumni Mentorship Program

UTDRO is developing an Alumni Mentoring Program to support the career development of trainees.

This program will encourage UTDRO trainees to have access to mentorship relationships externally, in addition to mentorship relationships they pursue within UTDRO.

What is mentorship?

The Standing Committee on Postgraduate Medicine and Dental Education defines mentorship as “the process whereby an experienced, highly regarded empathic person (the mentor) guides another individual (the mentee) in the development and re-examination of their own ideas, learning, and personal and professional development” (SCOPME, 1998).

Mentorship relationships may be short- or long-term, depending on the shifting career paths of both mentor and mentee; agreeing to be a mentor should not be perceived as a life-long commitment.

Benefits of Mentorship:

Mentee benefits:

  • Career guidance
  • Psychosocial support
  • Academic productivity
  • Increased confidence
  • Career planning
  • Burnout prevention
  • Personal satisfaction

Mentor benefits:

  • Pride in supporting the development of trainees

Goals of UTDRO Alumni Mentoring Program:

  • To provide networking opportunities for UTDRO trainees and alumni
  • To engage UTDRO alumni
  • To assist with trainee career development
  • To improve trainee satisfaction

UTDRO will send a call for volunteers to UTDRO alumni who are interested in acting as virtual mentors to UTDRO trainees.

Interested alumni will be encouraged to draft a biosketch highlighting information such as their year of graduation, current institution, and current clinical and research interests. These will be collected and stored within UTDRO. Trainees will be able to view the biosketches and select potential mentor(s) with guidance provided by educational leaders within UTDRO. Trainees can reach out to potential alumni mentors to pursue a mentorship relationship.

Once a relationship has been established, a formal mentorship agreement will be signed for documentation purposes. The mentee will be encouraged to submit their CV to their mentor.

Mentees are encouraged to initiate meetings with their mentors at least two times a year (e.g. virtually using Skype). Prior to each meeting an agenda should be created by the mentee (a personal development plan). At each meeting the mentee’s goals and timelines with expectations should be discussed. The mentor should provide valuable, constructive feedback to the mentee.

Please note that discussions between mentees and mentors are confidential.

After one year the mentee and mentor can re-assess the relationship to determine whether it continues to optimally benefit both mentor and mentee, or has reached a natural conclusion. In this case, a new partnership will be formed.

References:

Jackson VA, Palepu A, Szalacha L, et al: "Having the right chemistry": a qualitative study of mentoring in academic medicine. Acad Med 78:328-34, 2003.

Gurgel RK, Schiff BA, Flint JH, et al: Mentoring in otolaryngology training programs. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 142:487-92, 2010.

Kashiwagi DT, Varkey P, Cook DA: Mentoring programs for physicians in academic medicine: a systematic review. Acad Med 88:1029-37, 2013.

Sambunjak D, Straus SE, Marusic A: A systematic review of qualitative research on the meaning and characteristics of mentoring in academic medicine. J Gen Intern Med 25:72-8, 2010.

Zhang H, Isaac A, Wright ED, et al: Formal mentorship in a surgical residency training program: a prospective interventional study. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 46:13, 2017.

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