REGARDLESS OF THE LENSES THROUGH WHICH WE VIEW MENTORSHIP, WE RELY ON THE SUPPORT OF OTHERS TO MAKE PROGRESS THROUGH WHATEVER OBSTACLES WE ARE FACING.
What does mentorship mean to you?
Is it the role model who you aspire to be like, is it the coach that helped you get back up when you got knocked down, is it the person who made a phone call on your behalf to push for your advancement in school or your career, or is it the friend who you reached out to when you found yourself lost?
Mentorship is critical to all of our success, both on the mentor and mentee side. Bidirectional flow of information allows us to better understand each our struggles in ways we may not have previously considered. It not only strengthens each person involved in the relationship, it gives us the tools to be better prepared for issues already faced. Academically, this not only can help drive research productivity, but can elevate the career satisfaction, facilitate academic promotion and foster the next generation of leaders in our respective fields.
Yet here’s one of the most important reasons why mentorship is so important: preparing the next generation of mentors.
I have been blessed to have several mentors, coaches and advisors over the years. Their support through all of the triumphs and tribulations, instilled in me the sense that I needed to pay it forward, to those more junior to me.
It is in this vein that I have developed penchant for mentoring/advising because it has impacted my career significantly. Although I have been one of the lucky ones to be surrounded by dedicated mentors, many in healthcare do not have any.
It’s critical to realize that mentors and advisors are all around us; while it’s common to believe that mentors need to be people more senior to us or former /current professors, our peers or those who are close can also be an important source of guidance, advising and mentorship.
In a day and age when we are increasingly more connected to the world around us, it is imperative that we use the advanced connectivity social media tools affords to facilitate modernization of mentorship, coaching and advising. Send a DM, comment on a post, share a tweet , send an email or make a phone call. Use the technology at your fingertips to help you create your own personal advisory/mentorship board.
You don’t need to have a single mentor or advisor; having multiple set of perspectives, can help you sort through various struggles, including academic struggles and personal hardships. Some members of your “board” may serve acute coaches, where as others may provide longitudinal career advice Embrace the mentors in your life; whether it be family, friends, professors or faculty you have engaged with, know that you have an army of individuals looking to help support every endeavors of yours.