Blog | Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 pearls for better mentoring


Our institution, the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, hosts an annual Pediatric Chief Resident Conference. I was privileged to be a part of this, giving a discussion on quality improvement. The chief residents were engaging, had fascinating ideas, and demonstrated wonderful participation, in addition to harboring motivation to make change.

We were proud to host Dr. Nancy Spector, known in the education world for her impressive work on mentoring within medical education. She gave a phenomenal Grand Rounds presentation on the topic of “Mentee-Centered Mentoring”, and provided some wonderful pearls on the topic that participants could immediately take back to their home institutions. She discussed different models for mentoring, including a riveting discussion of “Speed Mentoring” (akin to “speed dating”). She provided us with five steps to successful facilitated mentoring, which I will summarize here:
Step 1: Determine an important project.
Step 2: Find the right leader to facilitate.
Step 3: Communicate effectively (planning regular communication), which may include getting work done during meetings.
Step 4: Manage projects skillfully.
Step 5: Assure benefits to participants.

Some of her final pearls for successful mentoring programs included the importance of cultivating mentoring relationships, consider having a portfolio of mentors, and also that mentees should drive the process. Her talk provided the audience with a framework for how to create a successful mentoring program. It provided us with outstanding reflection on how we can improve ourselves and each other! I highly encourage you to follow our tweets from the Grand Rounds presentation, which can be found at #IUPedsGrRounds.

Alexander M. Djuricich, MD, FACP, is Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and a Program Director in Medicine-Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. This post originally appeared at Mired in MedEd, where he blogs about medical education.