Minority Housestaff for Academic and Medical Achievement

Examples (Fictional) of Successful Mentor/Mentee Relationships


Case Study No. 1

Peter Carroway is a 2nd year resident in the internal medicine program at VUMC. He came to residency uncertain about his ultimate career direction, but believed that he would likely choose a subspecialty fellowship. Near the end of his first residency year, he was fortunate to be “on service” with one of the VUMC faculty members who has made a large contribution to the pulmonary literature. Seeing the scope of this professor’s impact, Peter realized he wanted to remain involved in academic medicine – he liked the idea of shaping medicine’s collective knowledge base over the course of one’s career by steady, directed research in a given topic. After expressing that interest to this faculty mentor, they have met three times to talk about the nuts and bolts of medical research – giving Peter an opportunity to ask about obtaining research funding, IRB approvals, and what types of collaborators are necessary to carry a clinical research project forwards. 

Case Study No. 2

Maria Tennant is nearly finished with her obstetrics and gynecology residency at VUMC. She looks forward to returning to her hometown in Michigan to become a primary care physician in Ob/Gyn. During her internship year, she forged a relationship with an African-American doctor who is VUMC faculty member in endocrinology. They originally met during a 5k race that was organized to support diabetes awareness/education for African-American women in Middle Tennessee. Ever since that event, they have continued to meet (generally while running) to talk about the challenges that Maria has faced during her training experience. While this faculty member’s career track to become the next chairperson of her division does not directly relate to Maria’s intention to be a community physician, Maria counts this mentorship relationship to be the greatest asset she has obtained while at VUMC. This faculty member has not necessarily provided career “advancement” advice, but she has been an invaluable source of wisdom when circumstances at work have been difficult.   Her faculty mentor has challenged her to greater excellence in her clinical performance and has been an objective “outsider” perspective when Maria has had occasional interpersonal conflict with others in her training program.

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