Another innovative mentoring program

Glaxo-Smith-Kline has an innovative mentoring idea they call “key talent mentoring“. Management identifies positions that will be needed in the next 5 years, then identifies possible candidates. Mentors are then chosen to assist those possible candidates to develop the skills/experience necessary to apply for those positions.
We frequently talk about succesion planning in medical schools and this might be an interesting area to explore.

Project-Based Mentoring

Hello all from sunny San Diego.
One of the most interesting mentoring ideas I have heard so far at the AAMC conference is project-based mentoring. Junior faculty identify a project they are interested in (applying for a research grant, trying a new teaching technique) and the office of faculty affairs finds a senior faculty member who would be interested in assisting them with the project. The pairs are expected to meet regularly and report to the office of faculty affairs at the beginning, middle and end of the project. Project timelines are identified at the beginning of the project. The mentoring process is then evaluated on the basis of the final product that results.
This type of mentoring is probably one of the easiest to implement because the product (the project) is very clear from the very beginning. Mentor, mentee and institution have a build in mechanism for evaluating the process based on their progress.

Suggested goals for mentoring new faculty/new physicians

At a recent workshop, the following topics were suggested for mentoring new medical faculty/new physicians:
– Decrease future problems so your workload not increased
– Prophylaxis is better than Tx
– A welcoming supporting start might recruit colleagues from residency
– “Indoctrinate” persuade local way of doing things
– Orienting quickly to the system good (efficient) clinical care
– Paying forward the debt from my teachers
– Retention in our regions
– If I was involved in recruiting them, my reputation hinges somewhat on their success
– Help new person feel there is a contact person to go to when you don’t know something about the system. Its hard to admit one doesn’t know something
– Be specific about when to meet; invite them next Tuesday for lunch or regular intervals
– Get to know personal details about their background and skills and outline the plan for this relationship
– Other persons’ expertise and get to know how do they do things where they are from
– Identify potential stresses pick up vulnerabilities early and look into preventative strategies e.g. orient new faculty to local expertise in research strategies
– Practical aspects of how to get a faculty appointment and advantages of having vs. not having an appointment FOR THEM. A mentor’s role is one of exploring IF this is a good thing or not selling them on it

Suggested goals for mentoring pre-med students

At a recent workshop, the following topics were suggested for pre-med student mentoring:

  • Role of physician
  • Why be a physician
  • Why do they wish to be a physician
  • How achievable is the goal of being a doctor
  • Expectations of being a doctor:
      • Work loads
      • Call
      • Enumeration
      • Gender issues related to profession
  • Later influences re: occupation
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different forms of medical training
  • Devotion of training
  • Sacrifices re. occupation vs. family

Suggested goals for mentoring IMG’s

At a recent workshop on mentoring IMG’s the following possible goals were identified:

– Integrate the person into a community of practice
– OrientationTo:

  • profession
  • environment
  • culture of community
  • ethics/norms of behavior boundaries
  • patients expectations of physicians in that community

– Practical advice about community-where to live
– Helping them gain access to training – education resources
– Clinical information – resources for exams
– Community resources – Practice resources
– Emotional support
– Language support
– How to write exams

Suggested goals for mentoring residents

At a recent workshop about mentoring the following possible goals for resident mentoring were identified:
– Encouragement, graduated responsibilities
– Non-judgmental sounding board – The power that says its OK you don’t know
– Orientation to the discipline
– Family/life balance
– How to live as a …
– How to be on call
– Help with education planning
– Electives
– Identifying Journals
– Practice interests
– Person to talk about difficult outcomes
– How to interact with other members of the team
– Identify struggling resident

Blog about a physician and depression

Dr. Dork has writes a Blog about his personal experience with depression.
“Psychologically, Dr Dork shares many traits common amongst doctors. Perfectionism, fear of failure, unforgiving of one’s foibles, with a record of placing one’s own needs for sleep, nutrition, exercise and rest a distant second to his vocational demands. Furthermore, Dr Dork is in many ways the typical Australian male: poor at openly discussing his emotional needs, in denial of his own distress, maintaining a resolute facade to all, and attempting to drown his demons at times.
Socially, the tendency to overload himself has been a contributory factor at times. For Dr Dork, this has been another method of ‘escape’, at times, which is also doomed to fail. And in his dark times, the costs to relationships, family, career and finances have been steep.”

Science Blogging Anthology

This message was recently posted on A Blog Around the Clock
“Yes! It is finally here! What you have all been waiting for, impatiently, for three weeks! The Science Blogging Anthology is now for sale. Go to by clicking here and place your order! You can choose to buy a PDF to download (but do you really want to print out 336 pages!?) or order the book with its pretty cover – it takes only a couple of days to arrive at your doorstep.
You can see here how it all got started, just three weeks ago, smack in the middle of the holidays when nobody was online and traffic was down to a third of the normal – and the whole thing just exploded! It was meant to coincide with the inaugural Science Blogging Conference.”