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Mentoring for Me

I have been asked by the director of our College’s mentoring program if I can supply a sentence or two about my mentoring experiences for a promotional flyer.  Interestingly enough, I am having such a difficult time deciding what I want to say.  I thought that I would blog about it a little and hopefully brainstorm some ideas and organize some of my thoughts around it all!

My mentoring relationship with K is complicated… There is, no doubt, a professional capacity to it.  However, there is also a personal capacity because I kind of look up to her as a role model in more ways than just a physician.  I think she serves as someone who offers reassurance and support to me when I don’t really find it anywhere else.  As such, it is kind of difficult for me to separate everything I “get” out of the relationship and focus mainly on the professional aspects.  There is the usual mentor stuff, I guess: I feel like I can ask her tough questions, and I can feel safe doing so – I don’t feel like she is necessarily judging me and I know she won’t criticize me.  I also feel like I can debrief with her over events that have happened, and she helps me to network with some other important people whom she thinks it would be good for me to know.

More than these simple professional aspects, I think what I get out of the relationship (at least the most important part of the relationship) is that I know someone is interested and invested in my future as a physician.  I want to work hard and do my best because I feel like it is important to her to see me succeed.  I know she is honest with me when she answers my questions and I trust that she gives me appropriate advice and constructive criticism when it is due.  Sometimes I wonder, however, if I appreciate these aspects of my relationship because of how much I admire K and the high level of esteem I have for her.

I really want to be successful in her eyes and I don’t want ot let her down.  I like knowing that I have done something to impress her or to make her believe hat I am worthy of her respect.  Knowing that she is “watching me” (in a sense) makes me want to work harder and be better at what I do.  Maybe that is the wrong source of motivation  but it works for me now, so I won’t criticize it too heavily.

Anyway,  I think my little blogging brainstorming session has been successful; I may have come up with some something useful to send to this lady… I hope she likes what I have to say!

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