Ready To Mentor?


Role of a Mentor: Perspective of a Medical Student

Jessica Johnson
Medical Student, University of Connecticut

Many people feel that being a mentor requires special skills, but mentors are simply people who have the qualities of good role models.1

Mentors make time to mentor.Mentors dedicate time to working with students.
Mentors listen.They maintain eye contact (as culturally appropriate) and give mentees their full attention.
Mentors guide.Mentors are there to help their mentees find life and career direction, never to push them.
Mentors are champions.PCCAMP mentors help students develop a healthy vision of primary care by sharing about their own careers – both the joys and challenges.
Mentors educate.Mentors educate about life and their own careers.
Mentors provide insight.Mentors use their personal experience to help their mentees avoid mistakes and learn from good decisions.
Mentors are accessible.Mentors are available to students for meetings, both face-to-face, via email or telephone. Students are welcome to shadow mentors.
Mentors criticize constructively.When necessary, mentors point out areas that need improvement, always focusing on the mentee’s behavior, never his/her character.
Mentors are supportive. Mentors introduce students to conferences, research projects and other professionals.
Mentors are specific.Mentors give specific advice on what was done well or could be corrected, what was achieved and the benefits of various actions.
Mentors care.Mentors care about their mentees’ progress in school and career planning, as well as their personal development.
Mentors succeed.Mentors not only are successful themselves, but they also foster success in others.
Mentors are admirable.Mentors are usually well respected in their organizations and in the community.

Mentor: Self-Assessment Tool

Adapted in May 2010 from The Connecticut Mentoring Partnership and the Business and Legal Reports, Inc.