Med Student’s Over Easy is back and this month Andy talks with frequent guests Geoff Comp, Patricia Capone and Kaitlin Bowers about the importance of finding a mentor.
Finding a mentor is one of the most crucial things you can do as a student interested in Emergency Medicine. Emergency Medicine is very competitive and some portions of the application process are unique to the specialty. Having someone to help guide you early on in your journey can have a huge impact on your success in the match. Many students aren’t sure when and how to find a mentor while others may be lucky enough to have a mentor but aren’t getting the most out of the relationship. Your EMOE team is here to help!
When should I get a mentor?
Start looking early! Most students spend the first year of medical school getting acclimated and settling into a studying routine. The second year tends to be when students start exploring specialties through local interest groups, national conferences, or shadowing experiences. This is a great time to start thinking about a mentor. Some students don’t land on EM until they have had experience on rotations third year, that is ok too. It is never too late to make connections.
How do I find a mentor?
There are so many different places you can find a mentor. Most of the national EM organizations (ACOEP, EMRA, AAEM, SAEM) all have mentorship programs. It is very easy to fill out their questionnaires and get paired up with a physician. If possible, I would recommend trying to find a match for yourself organically. The reason for this is that instead of being assigned, you will have the option to talk to different potential mentors first and decide who you feel fits best with your personality and career goals. You can do this within your own school, rotation site (if you are a 3rd or 4th year), or at a conference. Conferences are great places to network because EM is a small world so odds are if you meet one physician and mention that you are interested in wilderness medicine or programs in Ohio or whatever your interests are they will often know someone else in the room that has similar interests and can introduce you.
Can I have more than one mentor?
Yes! We would actually recommend having multiple mentors who each fill a different role. You might find a mentor who can give you great advice on couples matching but isn’t familiar with the EM landscape in Florida where you are hoping to match. So perhaps you find a different mentor who is familiar with Florida programs. Also, don’t forget that residents can be great mentors as well!
How do I get the most out of my mentee-mentor relationship?
- Be honest and open about your mistakes/red flags
- Work on making sure you can optimize how you look on paper
- Allow your mentor to help catapult you – don’t be shy when it comes to them introducing you to other friends/colleagues
- Remain professional!! (EM is a small world)
- Reach out to the mentor with questions
- Ask for pathway questions
Take Home Points:
- Find a mentor early on in medical school that you feel comfortable with and who you know can give you objective feedback.
- Understand that your personal development can be just as important as your medical knowledge.
- You will need different types of mentors at different stages of your career – it is good to have multiple mentors who fill different roles!
- Keep in touch with your mentors.
Listen to the Episode
Medical Student Resources you should check out:
- The American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians- Resident and Student Organization:https://acoep-rso.org/
- CORD’s Osteopathic Emergency Medicine Applying Guide: https://www.cordem.org/globalassets/files/student-resources/applying-guide—osteo.pdf
- ALiEM’s EMBound Student Newsletter: https://www.aliem.com/em-bound/
- EMRA’s Medical Student Newsletter: https://www.emra.org/students/newsletter-articles/
- EM Over Easy’s other Med Students Over Easy content: https://emovereasy.com/med-students-over-easy/
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