Recommended mentoring topics

The actual mentoring that happens in any individual relationship will, of course, be variable. Discussions can be open-ended and are meant to bring clarity to difficult issues or dilemmas that the mentee may be facing. Some may find that shared readings may be helpful to discuss. Some examples of common issues that can be explored in the mentorship relationship are:1

  • Developing a niche (clinical, research, advocacy, volunteer, organized medicine).
  • Keeping one’s clinical practice manageable and allowing enough time for scholarly productivity.
  • How to get involved in committees; pros and cons, appropriate selection and working effectively.
  • How to optimize and prepare for teaching, lectures and talks.
  • Time management.
  • When it is important to say “yes” and learn to say “no.”
  • Issues regarding ancillary support staff.
  • Negotiating skills at work.
  • Tips for staying up-to-date in one’s field.
  • Managing travel schedules and dual-career families.
  • Advice for guiding and managing medical students interested in dermatology.
  • Learning how to effectively mentor others, particularly early in one’s career.
  • Tips and strategies for coping with feeling overextended and for achieving work/life balance.
  • Shifting or changing career focus.
  • Managing conflict in the work environment.
  • Promotion or advancement within your place of practice (group, institution, etc.).

Additional resources

1 Caroline C. Kim, MD, Ellen J. Kim, MD, Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, MD, Victor Marks, MD,  Mary Maloney, MD, Ilona J. Frieden, MD. A Mentorship Model in Dermatology. 2011.