Mentoring and Your Career:
Learning Pearls for Mentors and Mentees

Creating Developmental Networks

The Developmental Mentoring Network is a framework for career development and mentoring that has evolved from traditional conceptualizations of hierarchical, dyadic, intra‐organizational mentoring relationships to a contemporary perspective of multilevel, multiple, networked relationships that are intra‐ and extra‐organizational. Developmental Networks draw from all levels of organizational hierarchy, offer diverse viewpoints and experiences, and facilitate two‐way learning.

As mentoring networks vary in structure, content, and quality of relationships, it can be helpful for mentors to understand the potential value and limitations of their own network and to discuss their mentees’ set of connections, in the context of:

  • Diversity: How similar or different are the mentor and mentee (gender, race, age, function, geography, organizational)?
    •  Values: balance of perspectives and breadth of skills represented
    • Limitations: differing goals, mixed/different messages, and complexities of
  • Interconnectivity/ Strength of Connection: How closed is the network, i.e. do most of the peoples know each other? What is the spread of people in terms of closeness and distance?
    • Values: Understanding of culture, external/objective viewpoints
    •  Limitations: Redundance.
  • Connections to Power and Influence: How many connections would you characterize as
    influential in the department, hospital, or field?

    • Values: Ease of access and opportunity for mobility, sponsorship, exposure
    • Limitations: Unanticipated changes in power, diminished ability to say “no”, managing exit strategy and risk, assumptions about who is “in” the network


Career Pathways for Mentors in Academic Medicine

Organizationally funded mentoring and faculty development positions are relatively rare. The best way to secure funded time is to create a broader role (such as those listed below), serve in this role well, then seek specific funding to enlarge the mentoring and faculty development portions of the role.

  • Medical Student, Resident Training, and Fellowship program director roles
  • Faculty Development roles, e.g., Vice‐Chair for Faculty Development

Some funding opportunities are available for mentors through the National Institutes of Health. Given the recognized shortage of patient‐oriented researchers, the NIH has made K24 awards available to support mid‐career investigators in mentoring junior investigators in patient‐oriented research. Funding levels may vary, so check with your institution.

  • Midcareer Investigator Award in PatientOriented Research (K24):‐files/PA‐11‐195.html


Recognition for Mentoring in the Harvard Medical School CV
  • Diversity and Flexibility: Broad options are available for getting “credit” for mentoring activities. One can be flexible about where on the CV activities are listed (see list below), but the important point is to describe what you are doing.
  • Documenting Technical Mentoring: The CV includes sections for listing formal mentees and their accomplishments. Importantly, to be able to list a mentee in the CV, the mentor must provide ongoing mentoring with demonstrated impact on a mentee’s career and a documented mentor role. It would be appropriate to list a mentee if the latter would be able to respond to a committee inquiry about the mentor’s interactions with, and impact on, the mentee, or if the mentor would be comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for the mentee.
  • Identified Section Content:
    • Education: Mentoring courses (such as FMLP!) of a year’s duration
    • Major Administrative Leadership Positions: List all mentoring and teaching leadership
    • roles, e.g., residency co‐director
    • Committee Service: Activities related to mentoring
    • Professional Societies: Presentations about mentoring, meetings with trainees
    • Honors and Awards: Mentoring and teaching awards, and nominations for same; selection from a pool of applicants for specific courses devoted to mentoring.
    • Funded Projects: Past or current projects related to mentoring
    • Unfunded Projects: Document guidelines or projects with trainees and/or mentoring
    • Teaching: Describe all levels of oversight, clinical and research, formal and informal, with specifics of what you and your mentee focused on. Detail your role with trainees, including junior faculty mentees, and their outcomes
    • Presentations: Scholarship, publications, presentations (doesn’t have to be written and/or published) about mentoring
    • Narrative: Perfect place to explicitly include mentoring if it is a significant part of your career.

Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Dental Medicine Format for the Curriculum Vitae with Mentoring Citations is provided in the Resources Section.