On Menteeship

On Menteeship

Modas! I have been gone for so much (blame that crazy, busy, full life that prevented me from starting Moda in Med School) – but I am back and May is prepped so you will hear from me without fail!!

As you can see from my previous post, I have been thinking about mentorship and the role a mentor can have in shaping your career/research/life. But even more so I have been pondering the mentor -mentee relationship and the role of ‘menteeship' on the overall impact of mentorship.

What do I mean by menteeship? I mean the input and engagement that the mentee puts into the relationship with their mentor which makes it that much more impactful. To me, effective mentorship requires a dedicated effort by both parties.  As a girlboss mentor of mine, Tamara Fountain MD, recently said at a forum I moderated, to lead you need to show up, speak up & follow up. This is as true for the mentee as the mentor – in fact, given the extra demands on mentors it may even be more important for the mentee. So, what can the mentees do?

SHOW UP: Mentees also need to understand that there is work on their end too to make this relationship grow. Aside from defining your goals it is important to be active and present. Don’t just ask someone to ‘mentor you’, rather say you’re looking for a mentor in x, y, or z and ask for specific advice. As the mentor-mentee-ship grows, this can be less directed and formal but at the beginning its critical.

SPEAK UP: The mentor should not just pour out advice to the mentee and expect it to be life altering, rather the mentee needs to actively define their goals. What do they hope to gain from the mentor? A career path? Work-life balance? Advice on how to be an empowered female girlboss?

FOLLOW UP: Finally, bring the relationship full circle. After a coffee/meeting with your mentor in which advice was given, follow up and let the mentor know what was impactful and meaningful or a way in which you incorporated the advice into your life/career.


Following this simple advice will ensure that not only do you have a better chance of finding a great mentor and benefitting from their input, but by being an active mentee you are investing into a lifelong relationship with someone you admire. Few things better than that!

Wearing: This is a women in medicine event I recently put on with a fantastic mentee of mine who is a medical student at Keck. We did it to kick of a series of Women in Medicine events and to celebrate National Doctor’s day. We invited the mentors and mentees of USC AMWA (American Medical Women’s Association) and the event was sponsored by JAANUU so everyone rocked their scrubs. More on my review of Jaanuu in a future post!


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