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Why Be A Mentor? Benefits for Physicians

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Most of us readily understand the benefits of having a mentor on the path to becoming a physician. But what is the value to the doctor who becomes a mentor? Is it helpful to dish up one more responsibility to an already full plate?

At LACMA, we asked ourselves these questions recently. Match Day is approaching, the CMA Western Healthcare Leadership Conference is in May and earlier this month the Women Physician’s Action Committee held a conference on leadership. All of this has thrown a focus on leadership and mentoring and we’ll be matching young physicians, students and residents with mentors later this year for the LACMA Mentoring Program.

In 2012, LACMA member Wendy C. Coates, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chair, UCLA Acute Care College, Director, Medical Education, Harbor-UCLA EM took a look at these same questions and published the results in Academy Emergency Medicine. Here’s a summary of what she discovered:

-It is likely that mentors are already enjoying many of the personal benefits of their relationships with protégés. In fact, people who choose a career in medicine may actually be more apt to be caring individuals who have the inner drive to help people. Serving in the mentorship role is congruent with this motivation and could produce intense satisfaction and a renewed sense of purpose.

-A strong support system among the mentors and recognition by the institution of the efforts of the mentor will engender a positive environment. Mentors should be encouraged to involve other colleagues to assist protégés when their own expertise is exhausted. Finally, mentors should expect that their protégés will soon master their unique skill set, and the original mentorship relationship will evolve into one more typical of true collegial peers.

Please consider joining LACMA’s Mentoring Program either as a mentor or to be mentored.

If you are interested in participating as a Mentor, please click here to complete the application form.

If you are interested in participating as a Mentee, please click here to complete the application form.

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