Mentoring is essential to supporting trainees. Helping learners find their passion and grow will ultimately allow them to find happiness and meaning in their work.
It can’t be overstated: a lasting movement in medicine, one on par with a medical revolution, will only come if we invest in the next generation of healthcare professionals. Being a mentor is part of this. Helping learners find their passion and grow will ultimately allow them to find happiness and meaning in their work.
I lacked a mentor early in my medical journey. Growing up in an immigrant family, with the highest level of education achieved by my parents being sixth grade, wanting to become a doctor was one thing. Knowing how to do it was another. The only professional role models I had were those depicted on television and my own physicians. In college, many of my pre-med friends had parents and family friends who were doctors and offered advice and guidance.
When I became a faculty member in the school of medicine at Johns Hopkins, I vowed to never have a learner feel they lacked a mentor. I welcome all students shadow me and help with my research projects. I hope it gives them the confidence to say, “I belong.”
It’s up to more senior clinicians to make all trainees feel welcome and to role model what it means to be a doctor. We must give all students the opportunity to have experiences and conversations that will guide them in their next steps toward a rewarding career.
This piece expresses the views solely of the author. It does not necessarily represent the views of any organization, including Johns Hopkins Medicine.