The Importance of Mentoring

17 Jun 2014
Last month, the Healthcare Leadership Tweet Chat (#HCLDR) invited me to participate as guest moderator to discuss The Changing Face of Medicine. You can read the accompanying blog post here
The weekly Tuesday evening #HCLDR chat engages a diverse community made up of patients, medical students, doctors, surgeons, residents, nurses, healthcare executives, and many others with a shared interest in healthcare leadership. Some international colleagues also joined from Europe, the Philippines, and Australia.

For many Tweeters, it was also the first time joining the #HCLDR Tweet chat. We were very proud to have the support of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS).

The #HCLDR platform resulted in an engaging conversation on the importance of diversity in medicine. One question we discussed was how can we encourage women and other minorities to pursue careers in medicine/surgery or any non-traditional field?

Among the many excellent responses, a common theme emerged of the importance of mentoring.

Another important factor is to expose students to careers in medicine and surgery early. “Building the pipeline” can be achieved through personal interactions and through support of outreach programs and organizations. One of our AWS members recently wrote on her experience in showing young students what she does daily as a surgeon on The Power of a Stitch.

Demonstrating that diversity is important to the organization and showing students that doctors are also people they can relate to are other important aspects of mentoring. 


How do you find mentors? We previously tackled the topic of finding a Mentor in our Lean In Book Review, which you can find here.  A quick recap on working with mentors: 

1.            Be mindful of the mentor’s time
2.            Strangers can be mentors. Don’t be afraid to seek out someone no matter how much you admire them.
3.            “Excel and you will get a mentor”
4.            Have more than one mentor.
What has your own mentorship experience been like? Have you been a part of an organized mentorship program? How can mentoring be fruitful endeavor for faculty?

If you have not downloaded the AWS Pocket Mentor you may do so here. You can also read our AWS blog post for good advice passed down from our mentors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *