Case: The Overconfident but Unproductive Mentee

Key Phrases:

  • Feedback when the mentee feels entitled to what hasn’t been earned
  • Feedback when the mentee underestimates the feedback given

Case Scenarios

a) Your mentee wants you to get her appointed to a committee in your national specialty society. You don’t know her well enough to do this yet, but she seems to imply that this is your duty. Your feedback to her is…?

b) Though she is a very nice person, the more you get to know your mentee the more you become concerned that she just can’t, or won’t, do the work necessary to get the job done at a high professional level. You can’t trust what she produces to be of high enough quality, so you end up writing a lot of the papers she is joining you on. Your feedback to her is…?

c) When your mentee reacts as though you’ve scolded her in response to the above and then apologizes to you and says she’ll do better next time, you say…?

d) After several tries you get the feeling that your mentee doesn’t seem to really hear what you’ve said, and the quality/productivity of her work doesn’t get better. She is about to go to another lab/clinic, so you are tempted to give her a “social pass” because she is such a nice person and everyone else before you has let her get by. You don’t know if this is a good idea, so you…?


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