Everyone has something to offer as a mentor and everyone can benefit from mentoring. A mentor can be a valued guide and inspiration - an invaluable influence on one's professional or personal success. Studies have shown that people who have mentors demonstrate enhanced work and career satisfaction, improved professional development, enhanced research productivity, better teaching, and improved leadership skills.
Purpose and Goals
The Rutgers NJMS Department of Medicine Residency Training Mentoring Program was developed to promote professional growth and career development among all resident physicians. While each individual is ultimately responsible for their career development, a specific mentoring program represents an important resource to aid physicians in their career progression.
The goals of the mentoring program are to:
- Provide access to mentoring for those who would not otherwise find someone to give them job and career support
- Provide guidance to junior physicians about career enhancement issues from senior physicians
Peer Mentorship Program:
In 2018, we implemented a peer-to-peer mentoring system which matches all incoming interns with senior resident mentors in the program. The matches are done shortly after the Match results are announced, such that incoming interns get to connect one-to-one with residents in the program well before they begin residency. Residents are matched to mentors based on clinical and research interests, as well as extra-curricular interests.
Faculty Mentorship Program:
Starting in winter of 2023, we will be implementing a new program that will enhance the process of feedback, mentorship, and career development for our residents. Spearheaded by our APD, Dr. Walsh, this program pairs each resident with a faculty member in general medicine. This mentor will meet with their assigned residents on a scheduled basis to: explore feedback about their recent rotation performance, discuss their overall wellness and career planning, offer assistance in accessing research projects, link them to additional subspecialty mentors as needed for the fellowship application process, and provide a safe space for them to express any areas of concern regarding their training experience. This program is a huge step for us in optimizing the evaluation and mentorship experience that we provide for our residents!
Program Director Mentorship:
All residents in the program meet bi-annually with the residency director for a summative evaluation that includes career advice and next steps to achieve goals. The PD and APD’s have open door policies and are always available to provide additional guidance as needed!
Benefits of the Mentoring Relationship
- Senior physicians have an opportunity to share their experience and perspective with someone who could greatly benefit from their knowledge. It should be a rewarding experience for both parties.
- Mentors will gain the satisfaction of helping a new physician define and attain goals by identifying options, planning strategies, improving interpersonal communication, and learning new skills. By motivating others and utilizing counseling and other management skills, you may improve your own supervisory skills and learn more about the viewpoint and opinions of junior physicians. This interaction may also inspire you to reflect upon your own goals and performance.
- Mentees will obtain guidance in defining and achieving goals, connecting interpersonally with caring, encouraging senior advisors, receiving constructive feedback and acquiring objective and credible information.