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Mentor Program

A mentor is a “trusted counselor or guide”. Mentoring is a collaborative process between someone with more experience (the “mentor”) who offers support, guidance and advice to facilitate learning and development of someone with less experience (the “mentee”). Mentoring relationships can be varied and can occur in multiple settings with mentors of varying degrees of experience. No one type of mentoring fits all people and all needs. Successful mentorship requires the active participation of both parties. The mentoring relationship can be dynamic, evolving over time, during which time the mentor/mentee defines and redefines their roles.

The mentoring program is designed to provide medical students with a multi-layered system of support that provides academic, career and personal guidance and advocates for the professional development of each individual. The number of students in each year decreases the ability of faculty and staff to get to know students personally and increases the risk of students going through their medical school education in anonymity. This mentoring program is central to the core values of WSU-SOM and is designed to decrease the risk of student isolation and anonymity. It prepares our mentees to become lifelong learners, productive students, and successful residents. Mentoring also engages faculty and promotes teaching, research and service. A school which promotes a culture of mentoring strengthens its ability to build a sense if community and potentially recruits its mentees as physicians into the region.

All people engaged with mentoring benefit from the experience.

Mentors: benefit by building a stronger sense of community and learning new things about themselves and their profession. This relationship challenges mentors to approach an issue from other’s perspective. It promotes growth of both the mentor and the mentee.

Mentees: benefit by developing a relationship with a professional who can advise them on their personal and professional goals. The mentee can gain insights and learn more about themselves by engaging in a meaningful relationship with people who share a common interest and who may be generationally, ethnically, and educationally the same or different than they are.

  1. Mentors are comprised of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, administrative faculty, teaching faculty and peers that can function individually and/or collectively guiding each student through the medical school experience.
  2. One of the cornerstones of the curriculum is the large and small Mentor Pods. In the large Mentor Pod consisting of 50 students, the student group will be assigned to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, an administrator, a clinical teaching faculty, and medical students. In the small Mentor Pod consisting of just 10 students, students will meet with their clinical teaching faculty and two student mentors. Students will be assigned to all mentors within their Pod at entry into medical school except the MS3/4 Faculty advisor. This mentor will be chosen during the students third year when the students have more clarity regarding specialty choices. Students will maintain the connection with their assigned Mentor Pod for the first 2 years until they transition into meeting with their faculty advisor one on one during their MS3 and 4 years. The faculty advising program will also include specialty dinners and more education regarding the expectations and role of a faculty advisor. There will be 6 pods for each the MS 1 year and 6 pods for the MS 2 year.
  3. The breakdown will look like this. In Year 1, there will be 6 large Mentor Pods and 30 small Mentor Pods totaling 300 mentees. This mentoring relationship will last for 2 years with the same mentors. As the mentees move into their second year, we will form an additional 6 large Mentor Pods for the incoming MS 1 students. At any one time, there will be 12 large Mentor Pods, 60 small Mentor Pods mentoring 300 MS 1 students and 300 MS 2 students. An example diagram is below:
    mentoring pod chart
  4. The goals:
    1. 4-6 Planned Mentoring Events annually for each year:
      1. 1 large Meet and Greet involving the large mentor pod planned by Dr. MacLean and the administrator. Faculty will talk about themselves, provide a biosketch and discuss their specialties. There will be integration of the Careers in Medicine website with sign in. The Student Affairs office will plan these initial meet and greet meetings.
      2. 2-4 activities planned by the teaching faculty for the small mentor pods including their more senior student who will also attend these events. Sign in will be suggested so that attendance can be tracked. Attendance is optional.
      3. 1 large end of the year event for the large mentor pod planned by the Student Affairs Office focused on Career Planning
    2. Mentor goals:
      1. Optimize the mentoring and advising of medical students
      2. Provide a reliable administrator/ faculty/senior student with whom students can meet
      3. Develop professionalism and personal growth
      4. Provide students with role models who exhibit exemplary professional behavior
      5. Develop a supportive relationship
      6. Better integrate student along all four years of medical school
      7. Navigation through the curriculum
      8. Navigation of the administrative procedures of the school
      9. Discussion of learning strategies
      10. Discussion of balancing home and work
      11. Build a professional network
      12. Education regarding healthy stress reduction
    3. Year 3 and 4 Faculty Advisor: review year 4 schedule and electives, career counseling, navigating the residency process and application, review CV and personal statement
  5. Program Process and Requirements:
    1. Assistant Dean of Student Affairs: Plans 2 events annually for each year. Total of 4 events annually. Leads a career planning curriculum over the course of the 4 events:
      1. Year 1, First Large Meeting: Meet and Greet: faculty and administrator (if MD) discuss their specialty, introduces Careers in Medicine
      2. Year 1, End of Year Meeting: Discuss Self-Assessment exercises, encourage shadowing, discuss summer goals, CV building exercise
      3. Year 2, Welcome Meeting: Discuss Careers in Medicine Specialty Pages, introduce Medical Specialty Aptitude Test, discuss Myers-Briggs
      4. Year 2, End of Year Meeting: Introduce Charting Outcomes in the Match, introduce faculty advisor goals and objectives, distribute updated list of faculty advisors
    2. Administrators: Help to plan 2 events annually for each year. Total of 4 events annually. Helps Assistant Dean to oversee smaller pods and make sure they are meeting with students. Notifies the Assistant Dean of the faculty teaching mentor is no longer engaged with mentoring so this person can be replaced.
    3. Teaching Faculty Mentor: Reach out to your students. Plan 2-4 small group activities with your 10 students and 1 more senior student annually. Make yourself available to meet with your student at the mentors time and location of choice.
    4. Year 3 and 4 Faculty Advisor: Make yourself available to meet with your student at the mentors time and location of choice.
    5. Senior Medical Student Mentor: Email your mentees quarterly and make yourself available for any questions. Attend events planned by administration and teaching faculty.
    6. Counselor: Email students introducing yourself every 6 months and making yourself available. Remind students about your function in their development.
    7. Learning Specialist: Email students annually introducing yourself and the resources you have available
  6. Qualities of a Mentor
    1. Non-judgmental and accepts personal differences
    2. Commits time and energy on an ongoing basis
    3. Assists in the mentee’s identity development
    4. Gives honest feedback in a constructive and caring manner
    5. Empower and encourage
    6. Nurture self confidence
    7. Teach by example

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