A mentor is an accomplished, experienced pathologist who believes in sharing his/her knowledge and skills to nurture the growth of another by investing time, energy and expertise in a special interactive relationship. Inevitably this relationship inspires, encourages and supports the mentee to achieve career goals and satisfaction, and to reinforce the mentor’s investment in the process and relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
What am I expected to do?
Once the mentor has completed the profile (and received an acceptance email) the matching process will be facilitated and guided by our web-based program. Mentors are expected to engage with the mentee identified by the matching process, and with whom they establish a connection. While it is recommended that you provide an hour of support per month, frequency of contact can be established by and for your unique relationship. Most interactions will take place via email or even social media, generally through the guidance of the program during the entire mentoring relationship. When you begin your mentoring relationship, arrange an extended first meeting of at least 60 minutes by phone or videoconference to discuss the structure and goals of the mentoring relationship. Determine what the mentee needs or expects from the relationship, for example selecting a subspecialty fellowship, understanding how to submit abstracts to introduce their research, how to navigate the USCAP Annual Meeting, tips on teaching and developing course proposals. You are strongly encouraged to attend the USCAP Mentoring Academy reception at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles for an opportunity to meet your mentee.
How long will the commitment be?
We ask our mentors to commit to an eight-month relationship to optimize mutual benefits but provide the flexibility for either member of the mentoring dyad to opt out if the relationship is not working. At the inception of the Mentoring Academy, we’re recommending a single mentor-mentee partnership, although with experience, a single mentor may be able to accomplish multiple relationships.
Are there any potential risks to me, my institution or USCAP?
It’s not appropriate for mentors to engage in business transactions or share confidential information with their mentees. The relationship should be limited to the general exchange and flow of information and advice. This mitigates risk to your institution and to the Academy. This is an Academy program, and not institutionally-based; when you participate as a mentor, you are contributing your personal time and expertise exclusive of the institution where you work.
If the relationship is not going well or I am concerned about mentorship, what do I do?
It’s possible that you may encounter an incompatibility or you or your mentee perceives that the relationship isn’t working or cannot progress. First have an open discussion to characterize the nature of the issue or source of discomfort and try to resolve it by adjusting behaviors or expectations. If the relationship needs outside help or to terminate, contact Administration through the web platform. Drs. Celeste Powers (firstname.lastname@example.org) and David B. Kaminsky (email@example.com) are final resources to assist you with relationship resolution.
- Commit at least one interaction/hour of support per month.
- Take responsibility to initiate the relationship.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and honor all appointments.
- Invite the mentee to meetings or activities, as appropriate. Schedule meetings with planned topics.
- Be flexible on meeting times and places.
- Arrange frequent contacts through telephone, email, fax, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate
- Respond to emails from your mentee within 2 days of receipt.
- Keep information that your mentee has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the mentee needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
- Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
- Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
- Provide honest and timely feedback to your mentee.
- Provide opportunities for the mentee to talk about concerns and ask questions.
- Above all LISTEN and READ thoroughly. Verbal communications and emails are at the core of your exchanges.
- Try to give advice on everything.
- Encourage mentee to be totally dependent upon you.
- Provide your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc unless they are constructive contributions.
- Be too busy when the mentee needs your friendship or your support. If you do not have time, give the mentee a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.
- Begin the process by completing you mentor profile in preparation for the match
- Review online informational materials including the Mentoring Handbook and Mentoring Agreement
- When you match with a mentee, arrange an extended first meeting by telephone or videoconference to get acquainted and discuss the structure, goals, and timelines of your relationship
- Commit to regular periodic meetings by the communication mechanisms of your choice
- Complete in a timely fashion the forms and/or surveys received through the mentoring portal
- Acknowledge with your mentee that the relationship is fluid, and that if it does not appear to work or isn’t the right fit, that you may diplomatically opt out at any time
- Define your goals and limit the number to those you believe you can accomplish within a consensus timeframe.
- Be passionate in investing your time, energy and expertise to nurture the growth of your mentee
- Respect confidentiality and boundaries