Plastic Surgery Research Council
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Mentor/Mentee Recommendations: David Larson, MD

Characteristics of Good Mentoring
Provides challenges: gives “stretch” perspectives and assignments (go beyond “comfort” zone)
Accurate diagnoses and assessment of needs
Reflective- guide rather than tell or dictate (don’t expect that advice will be taken)
Possesses respect and patience
Shows sincere care and concern
Spends time: preparing, meeting, and follow up
Inspires by example
Facilitates learning
Develops skills and capacities
Teaches, as needed and desired
Challenge: projecting own qualities onto others- don’t look to generate a clone

Guidelines in Mentoring
Picking the right person (mentee driven)
Listening rather than lecturing
Can't allow mentee to leverage the mentor to gain advantage
Don't use mentoring as a disciplinary tool (e.g. “keeping tabs” on residents/faculty)
Don’t gossip
Improve dialogue and conversation skills and styles
Socratic questioning (i.e. “Talk me through your thinking”)
Listening (we really don’t do this very well)
Offer options (not necessarily solutions)
Don’t give the answer, teach “how to think”
Goes beyond teaching, it shows the mentee what they already know

Mentee Responsibilities
Work with mentors to establish a schedule of regular meetings
Allow sufficient time to ask questions and discuss issues openly
Arrive/be available promptly to all appointments
Share information and ideas
Continuously seek feedback in order to understand and clarify issues or questions
Listen nondefensively, accepting constructive ideas for change and how their actions affect others
Take the initiative to make things happen
Keep the mentor informed of academic progress/difficulties

Features to Consider in a Mentor
Seek individuals who can provide you with honest guidance regarding your career development
You need someone who will give you honest and constructive critiques of your work
Someone with whom you have a common interest (e.g., clinical research, education, administration, teaching)