Why mentoring matters
I have practiced medicine for more than 40 years and have benefited from the wisdom and advice of many senior physicians. I have also had the pleasure of working with doctors who are newer to the profession and imparting on them some of the lessons I have learned along the way. Mentoring doesn’t just benefit the more junior person – there are many reasons why mentoring is valuable to both sides.
Medical practice requires a commitment to professional development and lifelong learning in order to make the most advanced and appropriate treatments available to your patients. As you advance in the profession, younger doctors will inevitably reach out to you for support and guidance. In my office and at the hospital, I have trained over 2000 doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and high school students aspiring to careers in medicine over the past 40 years. I can tell you from personal experience that there are few things as rewarding as the opportunity to pay it forward and help others as you have been helped over the years. You may find it particularly valuable to reflect on your own practice with fresh insight from your mentee.
Consider also that working with a mentee is another way to build your legacy – in addition to the patients you have treated and research you have conducted, you will be remembered by your mentees, who will help you expand your impact in the profession to which you have devoted your education and career.