Day 2: Mentor Perspective – The Polygamy of Mentorship
Today during the Tour for Diversity in Medicine’s second stop at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the role of mentors and mentorship introduced a lively discussion. Dr. Sanchez likened the mentor relationship to dating. I agree. Mentoring is like the courtship process. Boy meets girl Mentee meets mentor. Through cultivation, a beautiful relationship can develop.
However, while typical standards for dating look poorly upon multiple relationships at once, I am a huge fan multiple ongoing mentorship relationships at once. Yes, I said it. I believe in polygamy – well, polygamy of mentors and mentorship that is. And I think you all should too! I’ll admit that today was the first time I had actually described what I usually refer to as my “circle of mentors” as polygamy, but I like it.
Enough of a discussion about the term, let me tell you what my circle of mentors is. I truly believe that a person, a student, a physician should have multiple mentors at different levels in their respective profession. Each mentor serves a separate and unique purpose providing guidance in areas to help an individual become the best they can be. In my own life, I have research mentors, career mentors, life mentors, leadership mentors, and advocacy mentors. I go to each mentor for different things, meeting with them at different intervals to obtain the guidance I need to move to the next level or through a particular situation. My mentors have truly helped me to achieve all that I have been able to accomplish in my career and in life. I would not be where I am without them. And while my circle of mentors is large, I know that it will continue to grow as my needs as a physician and professional change, but it will never be too large, because as complex as an individual is, their mentorship circle is able expand to them. In the end, polygamy is a good thing – well, for mentorship that is.
Happy early Valentine’s Day!