Courses, training, and practice are critical to building knowledge and skills in medicine. But, mentorship provides another dimension to learning — especially in the medical field — that can increase competency, confidence, and career potential.
Mentors end up teaching far more than what you might learn in books or labs and, at times, they do it simply from how they respond to other people and certain situations. According to the Journal of Cancer Education, “[Mentors]… can enhance implicit knowledge about the ‘hidden curriculum’ of professionalism, ethics, values, and the art of medicine not learned from texts.” Additionally, their encouragement can inspire confidence and a greater sense of direction that can propel your personal and professional development.
Here are five key advantages to having a mentor in medicine:
- Improved clinical skills. A mentor can provide advice and real-life experience that can help you develop your clinical skills and improve patient care. Seeing or hearing about how they respond to different scenarios can increase your knowledge and inform your decision-making.
- Career guidance. A mentor can help you navigate the complexities of the medical profession and identify opportunities for your growth and advancement.
- Networking opportunities. A mentor can introduce you to other professionals in your field, helping you build a strong network of contacts that can be beneficial for your career.
- Personalized support. A mentor can offer wisdom tailored to your specific needs and goals, helping you overcome challenges and achieve greater success.
- Increased confidence. Having a mentor can make you feel more secure. You can receive encouragement, ask questions, and gain reassurance to take on new challenges and pursue your goals with greater determination.
Providing life-saving treatment is the dream of many medical professionals. But the learning curve can be very steep and, even if you possess all the knowledge you need, it helps to have a calm, experienced clinician around to provide counsel and guide your efforts, whether before or during those crisis moments.
Outside of administering treatment, it can be difficult to know how you should spend your energy — what specialty you should choose, or where and how to practice. As the medical field changes and develops with each passing day, it’s helpful to know that you can lean on someone who has seen and experienced much more than you have — and who can pass their confidence and knowledge base on to you.
Mentorship Makes a Difference
It should come as no surprise that mentorship often influences decisions regarding specialties and growth opportunities. According to Cureus, a survey of medical students revealed that mentorship “impacted their decisions involving rotation choices, residency programs, field of practice, and career trajectory.” Every learner is excited to follow a good leader.
Equally, mentorship also has the proven ability to sharpen skills and increase competency. A review of studies on mentorship programs in Africa revealed that combining mentorship with training increased the competence of clinicians compared to traditional training alone. In areas such as human resources, accounting, and monitoring and evaluation, mentorship also improved management skills.
Join Our Team
At SpecialtyCare, we focus on training and mentorship because we want to help you excel. As you excel, you help patients in our partner hospitals around the country receive better care. It’s our goal to help you develop your skill set and have a fulfilling career path in your chosen profession. Come find out what it’s like to join our team and enjoy greater confidence and competency — and perhaps become a mentor yourself. Contact us today to learn more.