Research Mentorship: A View From Both Sides Frederick L. Brancati, MD, MHS Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology Director, Division of General Internal Medicine Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
Mentorship • What Do You Want from Mentor? • What Does Mentor Want from You? • How to Choose a Mentor • Checking Out Possible Mentors
Mentor The son of Alcumus on Ithaca, and elderly friend of Odysseus. He was charged by the king to watch over his son Telemachus and his palace while he was fighting in the Trojan War. The goddess Athena often assumed Mentor's shape when she visited Telemachus and Odysseus. In modern English the tutor's name has become an eponym for a wise, trustworthy counselor or teacher
What Do You Want in a Mentor? • Highly accomplished • Understands you • Helps you articulate goals • Guides every aspect of project • Accessible, Affable • Good listener • Promotes your development • Honest about prospects • Well networked
What Do Mentors Really Want? • Blind obedience • Laser-like intensity • Fierce loyalty • Hunger for fame • High productivity • Independence • Low maintenance • World domination
Problem Trainee: Easy-going, Charming But, Unreliable, Undisciplined, Self-Centered, No Sense of Mission, Prone to Confabulation.
Problem Trainee: Well-intentioned, Energetic But, Unfocussed, Conflicted, Immature, Impulsive, High Maintenance.
Ideal Trainee: Smart, Independent, Committed, Highly Focused, Willing to do whatever it takes, Candid, Passionate, Nice hair, Good with automatic weapons.
Ideal Trainee: Obedient, Loyal, Effective, Vast Knowledge Base, Quiet, Very Low Maintenance
Uses you Misleads you Steals spotlight Steals ideas Electrical stuff radiates from finger tips. The Anti-Mentor
How to Choose a Mentor • Content vs Methods • Experience vs Accessibility • Big shop vs Small shop • Administrative vs Scientific Power • Money, Money, Money • Role Modeling • Personal Chemistry
Checking Out Possible Mentors • National Reputation • Exposure in Classroom, on Wards • Curriculum Vitae • Recent Productivity • First-author publications by trainees • Teaching Awards • CRISP – NIH Website • https://www-commons.cit.nih.gov/crisp • Word of Mouth • Trial Run
Santiago Ramon y Cajal Advice to Young Investigators