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Making the Most of Mentors: A Guide for Mentees

Zerzan, Judy T. MD, MPH; Hess, Rachel MD; Schur, Ellen MD; Phillips, Russell S. MD; Rigotti, Nancy MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181906e8f
Faculty Mentoring

Effective mentorship is likely one of the most important determinants of success in academic medicine and research. Many papers focus on mentoring from the mentor’s perspective, but few give guidance to mentees forging these critically important relationships. The authors apply “managing up,” a corporate concept, to academic medical settings both to promote effective, successful mentoring and to make a mentor’s job easier. Managing up requires the mentee to take responsibility for his or her part in the collaborative alliance and to be the leader of the relationship by guiding and facilitating the mentor’s efforts to create a satisfying and productive relationship for both parties. The authors review the initiation and cultivation of a mentoring relationship from the perspective of a mentee at any stage (student through junior faculty), and they propose specific strategies for mentee success.

Dr. Zerzan is assistant professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Hess is assistant professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Schur is acting instructor, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Phillips is chief, Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, and professor of medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Rigotti is professor of medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Zerzan, University of Colorado Denver, Division of General Internal Medicine, 12631 E 17th Ave., B180, PO Box 6511, Denver, CO 80045; telephone: (303) 724-2244; fax: (303) 724-2270; e-mail: (Judy.Zerzan@ucdenver.edu).

© 2009 Association of American Medical Colleges