AdviceThis article in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medical Care reviews the EM literature on mentoring. The authors specifically do a great job summarizing practical tips.

What is a mentor?

It is a person who supports and guides a junior colleague (junior faculty member, residents, or medical student) in his/her professional development.

Many studies show that medical trainees value mentoring. Junior faculty, especially those in academics, also benefit from mentorship by senior faculty. Despite these known facts, less than 40% of medical students have mentors. Furthermore, 98% of academic physicians cite a lack of mentorship as a major factor hindering their career progress.

Types of mentorship

  • Individual, one-on-one mentoring
  • Group mentoring
  • Distance mentoring

How to get started in a mentorship relationship

  • Schedule 30 minutes for the first meeting
  • Get acquainted, sharing backgrounds and interests
  • Exchange contact information
  • Discuss best mode for communication and available times
  • View mentee’s CV
  • Define expectations of the mentee and mentor
  • Identify the mentee’s short and long-term goals
  • Pick 3 areas to work on together
  • Schedule regular meetings

Yeung M, Nuth J, & Stiell IG (2010). Mentoring in emergency medicine: the art and the evidence. CJEM : Canadian journal of emergency medical care = JCMU : journal canadien de soins medicaux d’urgence, 12 (2), 143-9 PMID: 20219162


Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD