What is Mentoring?
Readings and Articles

Sambunjak D, Marusic A. “Mentoring: What’s in a Name?” JAMA. 2009; 302(23): 2591‐2.

This brief commentary attempts to clarify some of the conceptual confusion regarding the definition of mentoring by describing its structural, interactional, and temporal characteristics. Mentoring’s primary purpose is defined as the growth and development of mentees in multiple spheres, in the context of reciprocal (yet asymmetrical), dyadic relationships that may involve one mentor or several within a developmental network. The authors make a distinction between mentoring and other relationships such as “peer mentoring” and “e‐mentoring.” They also take the position that formal assessment should never be part of a mentoring relationship to avoid potential conflict with the mentor’s role as supporter.
(10 references)

Detsky AS, Baerlocher MO. “Academic Mentoring – How to Give It and How to Get It.” JAMA. 2007; 297 (19): 2134‐6.

This article focuses on ways to foster effective academic mentoring relationships in medicine, with mentees at different stages in training and/or career development. The authors give suggestions to promote healthy communications on both sides, facilitate regular evaluations of the mentoring relationship, facilitate follow‐through, and deal with evolving roles, potential areas of conflict, and eventual separation.
(17 references)

Borus JF. “How to Be a Good Mentor.” In LW Roberts (Ed), Achievement and Fulfillment in Academic Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide. New York: Springer Science, 2013

This book chapter reviews the role and functions of the good mentor. It discusses the nine characteristics of a good mentor, who should and should not be a mentor, different types of mentors, issues in initiating and structuring the mentoring relationship, difficult mentoring relationships for the mentor, mentoring across difference, “dos and don’ts” for mentors, developing one’s mentoring abilities, the life course of mentorship, and rewards for the mentor.
(9 references)