Case: The Transition to a New Mentor

Key Phrases:

  • Transitioning a Mentoring Relationship
  • Long‐distance Mentoring
  • Technical vs. Developmental Networking

Emily just completed a clinical fellowship. Her mentor was Judith, with whom she worked on a very productive clinical research project during her fellowship. She had accepted a junior faculty position with the expectation that she would continue working with Judith, had worked out the details with her division chief, and was very satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations.

Shortly after Emily joined the faculty, Judith was recruited to Hopkins as a division chief and full Professor. Emily was very concerned when her division chief said he thought that William would be a good mentor for her and asked her to meet with William. When she met with William it became clear that although they both worked in the same field, William was running clinical trials and Emily was interested in how to influence compliance in patients who were non‐adherent with their physicians’ recommendations. Emily missed Judith and was concerned that the match with William wouldn’t work.

Case Questions:

  1. What options does Emily have in this situation?
  2. What might William do, as her new mentor, to smooth the transition?
  3. What might Judith do, as Emily’s old mentor, to smooth the transition?


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