Benefits of Mentoring

For the Mentee

Having a mentor helps to:

  • Facilitate your induction into the AAP and individual leadership
  • Increase your understanding of formal and informal AAP leadership structures
  • Develop professional and personal skills
  • Improve your professional and personal networks
  • Provide opportunities for you to reflect on your own progress and resolve your own problems in leadership and development

For the Mentor

Being a mentor can provide an opportunity to:

  • Expand your own communication skills and knowledge
  • Learn from your mentee
  • Reflect on how you mentor and advise your current students/colleagues
  • Serve your academic institution, the AAP, and the specialty of physiatry
  • Share your positive experiences in the AAP and in the physiatry
  • Develop a junior member of the AAP and physiatry
  • Extend your professional and personal networks
  • Give professional and scientific guidance

Role of the Mentor

As a mentor, your role in this program is to provide support and resources to a new or junior member of the AAP through regular one-to-one meetings. You are expected to facilitate a supportive and developmental relationship with your mentee. However, you are not expected to be an expert or to be able to solve all problems raised, just a dependable, consistent friend. A mentor uses different skills and approaches depending on the subject and situation. Key responsibilities, skills and attributes of mentors are below.

A Mentor's Responsibilities

  • Ensures your mentee understands the purpose of and guidelines for mentoring
  • Provides friendly, professional support and guidance to issues raised by your mentee
  • Helps clarify your mentee’s academic/professional performance and development goals
  • Shares formal knowledge of the structure and relationships within the AAP
  • Introduces your mentee to your students and colleagues and help develop your mentee’s own network
  • Maintains regular contact during the 12-month mentoring commitment
  • Completes 1-year evaluation of your mentee and this training program
  • Connects in person if you live close by or at the AAP Annual Meeting, if possible

Skills of a Mentor

  • Has appropriate professional knowledge and skills
  • Listens actively and effectively– asks open and appropriate questions
  • Reflects back feelings and opinions to show listening/understanding
  • Makes suggestions without being judgmental
  • Participates in proactive problem solving together
  • Gives constructive and positive feedback
  • Appreciates his/her mentee's differing experience and needs

Qualities of a Mentor

  • Considers issues of diversity in the context of the AAP and the specialty as a whole
  • Expresses and exhibits interest in being a mentor
  • Is supportive of change at the personal, institutional and organizational level
  • Encourages others (including their peers and students)
  • Encourages diversity within academia and the AAP
  • Is trustworthy and able to keep confidential information
  • Is willing to commit time
  • Is friendly and approachable

Role of the Mentee

As a mentee, your role in the program is to avail yourself to the rich mentoring opportunity within the AAP. Your role in this program is to work closely with your AAP mentor through regular one-to-one meetings. You are expected to facilitate this relationship by assuming responsibility for your career development and being proactive with your planning and goal setting. A mentee uses different skills and approaches depending on the subject and situation. Key responsibilities, skills and attributes of mentees are below.

A Mentee's Responsibilities

  • Shares curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Discusses career goals and plans
  • Establishes mutually agreeable meeting schedule
  • Provides mentor with mutually-agreeable timelines for review of creative work when appropriate
  • Keeps mentor abreast of progress
  • Maintain regular contact during the 12-month mentoring commitment
  • Completes 1-year evaluation of your mentee and this training program

Skills of a Mentee

  • Has good organizational skills, is prepared and reliable
  • Follows through on commitments and deliverables as agreed upon
  • Reflects back feelings and opinions to show listening/understanding
  • Is committed to excellence
  • Takes responsibility for career development
  • Participates in proactive problem-solving together
  • Gives constructive and positive feedback regarding the mentoring experience
  • Able to appreciate his/her mentor’s differing experience and needs

Qualities of a Mentee

  • Appropriately balances independence with seeking guidance
  • Expresses and exhibits interest in being a mentee
  • Is a self-starter and takes initiative
  • Is receptive to feedback
  • Is conscientious and respectful
  • Is trustworthy and trusts others
  • Is willing to commit time
  • Is friendly and approachable

Content of Mentoring Meetings

The content of meetings should be negotiated between the mentor and the mentee. The following guidelines may act as a useful framework:

The mentor should be given time to prepare for the first meeting, which should include:

  • Discussion of the mentoring guidelines
  • Agreement on the future ways of working together – A Working Contract
  • Agreement on who will be calling whom (and at what number)
  • Frequency of meetings (via telephone or in person - length of meetings should align with the tasks at hand)
  • Scheduling of meetings (day of week, time of day)
  • Structure of the meetings
  • Establish ground rules and boundaries including confidentiality on both sides and any limits to the role (e.g. types of issues to be discussed, communication outside of meetings and whether personal issues will be discussed)

Subsequent meetings may include:

  • Reflection on professional progress and goals
  • Discussion for potential research topics
  • Notices on conferences
  • Feedback on presentations/manuscripts
  • Attendance of presentations at annual and chapter meetings
  • Identification and exploration of problems
  • Identification and exploration of development needs
  • Training opportunities and professional qualifications
  • Discussion of AAP structure and making the most of membership
  • Sharing of informal knowledge e.g. departmental relationships and procedures
  • ‘Silly questions’

It is likely that the nature of the relationship will develop from the provision of basic information in response to specific questions and into in-depth discussion of wider issues. However, each relationship is specific to the individuals involved.

Duration of Mentoring Relationship

The duration of the mentoring relationship is determined by the mentor and the mentee, and it may come to its natural conclusion at the end of one year. It is important to note that the mentor or mentee can continue their mentoring relationship in an informal capacity after the time period required by mentoring program.