Category Archives: Mentorship in medicine

Mentors and mentorship in medicine (Part 5)

I made it clear in 1981, and I re-emphasize it today, that in order to be a good clinical scientist and teacher, one has to be an outstanding clinician. If so, the public image of the clinical investigator should increase rather than suffer. I am pleased to see that, in spite of these difficulties, Canadian research fellowship programs have done extremely well. Seventy-one per cent of those in training between 1986 and 1997 currently have academic positions. Of research fellows between 1992 and 2002, the majority are MDs or MD/PhDs (Figure 2) .

Mentors and mentorship in medicine (Part 4)

In 1981, I was honoured to present the RD McKenna Lecture. The title was ‘Canadian gastroenterology: Yesterday, today and tomorrow’ . At that time, I expressed considerable worry about the diminishing number of clinical scientists and suggested that if this were allowed to continue it may eventually destroy the scientific contributions of Canadian gastroenterology (Figure 1). Already in 1981, several factors resulted in a decreased desire of residents to become clinical scientists.

Mentors and mentorship in medicine (Part 3)

clinical workEncouragement and support may be needed when investigators take up their first position after several years of further training. There are several reasons why, unless carefully protected, the returning new staff may be deterred from their primary goal of clinical teacher and investigator, and become primarily involved in clinical work. Years after being away, they are itching to prove themselves as able clinicians and attempting to become fully involved in all aspects of the department with committees and other nonessential undertakings.

Mentors and mentorship in medicine (Part 2)

The most pleasurable direct personnel interaction and teaching among staff, clerks and residents often occurs at the end of an exciting night experience. I remember how often, after an endoscopy, we sat down over a cup of coffee to discuss the case and possibly many other issues, often unrelated to the present case. Lasting friendships could develop under conditions where there is no ongoing pressure felt during the regular work of the day. Although this may not be acceptable to student and resident organizations, I believe an increase in the number of night duties in a unit where staff participates in night call may provide further opportunities for mentorship.

Mentors and mentorship in medicine (Part 1)

clinical clerkshipDr Leddin asked me to comment specifically on the key issues of success and my recommendations for becoming a successful mentor in the future. There are many that I could mention but there are some important ones, related to different levels of training of students, residents and new staff, that I would like to highlight. Mentorship based on personnel contact can first be established at the undergraduate level during the clinical clerkship. Success may depend on the duration of clerkship in a single unit.