Looking After Your Pupils
How to get the most out of mentorship
Andreas Layer |
At a Glance
- For students and young physicians, mentorship is an essential component of professional development
- The relationship can take many forms, including group and peer learning, or mentorship from afar, but the traditional one-on-one model can often have the most impact
- Institutions should offer different options to meet different learning styles and individual backgrounds
- A negative mentoring experience can be disheartening, but identifying a good match and building trust can be a formative experience that lasts a lifetime
In medicine, mentoring is an essential part of professional development. With the advent of the Internet, it’s very easy for students and young doctors to find factual information and medical knowledge online from various sources, without necessarily needing to be taught in the same way as they would before. But there are still some things you can’t learn that way: how to conduct yourself professionally; the best way to interact with patients; and how to succeed in your field.
In a profession such as ours, there’s undoubtedly a set of behavioral skills that need to be transferred to a learner, and it really takes another individual, or group of individuals, to transfer that information. In turn, this motivates learners to develop to their full potential as physicians and surgeons, and when they look back and see what they’ve gained, they often want to pass that knowledge on to future generations. But not all mentorships are fruitful – there are considerations to bear in mind, and pitfalls to avoid…
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