Guidance for Mentees
Mentoring is essential for a successful career in academic medicine. Mentors share their expertise in the clinic or laboratory, troubleshoot a problem, advise on a decision, and open doors to new opportunities. A mentoring relationship can be formal or informal, shared or individual, short-term or life-long. Mentors can provide guidance throughout your career but your needs may vary at different stages. Faculty benefit most from a network of mentors serving different needs.
How Can Mentoring Help Me?
What are your needs for guidance? Do you need a coach, a sponsor, or a counselor or a combination of these? Do you need specific help with an project?
Complete Step 1 of the Find a Mentor site to define your needs for mentoring. You may want to complete the Individual Opportunity Plan (IOP) to help focus your career goals before defining your mentoring needs.
Where Will I Find Mentors?
Although the traditional one-on-one mentoring pair is still the most common form of mentoring, there are a variety of different mentoring arrangements, such as peer mentoring, mentoring circles, or mentoring teams.
- Review the Mentoring Programs offered at UMMS.
- Use the Find a Mentor Network to identify an individual mentor who meets your needs.
What is Important for an Effective Mentoring Relationship?
To be effective and productive you must put thought and effort into the mentoring relationship. Pay attention to the following:
- Your Initial Contact: suggestions for your request for mentoring.
- Your First Meeting: how to prepare for that critical initial meeting with your mentor.
- Setting Expectations: how to define the goals and objectives of the relationship.
- Mentoring Agreement: defining your mutual expectations with a simple written document.
- Managing Meetings: how to schedule the meetings, set agendas and follow up after.
- Being An Effective Mentee: how to get the most out of your mentoring relationship.
How Can I Get Further Help on Mentoring?
- Discuss your needs for mentoring with your Division Chief or Chair—your Annual Performance Review (APR) meeting is an excellent opportunity to hold this discussion.
- Attend a Mentoring Workshop or schedule a Mentoring Consultation with the Office of Faculty Affairs.
- Review the resources below and on the Mentoring Resources page.
Making the most of mentors: a guide for mentees. Zerzan J, Hess H, Schur E, Phillips RS, Rigotti N. Acad Med 84: 140–144 (2009). ; PMID: An excellent guide to mentoring from the perspective of the mentee.
Academic mentoring—how to give it and how to get it. Detsky AS, Baerlocher MO. JAMA 297: 2134–6 (2007). ; PMID:
Succinct guidance for both mentors & mentees.
A new mindset on mentoring: creating developmental networks at work. Kram KE, Higgins MC. Sloan Management Review (2009).
A brief description of developmental mentoring networks and how to establish your own network.