HOW I FOUND MY RHYTHM WHEN THE MUSIC STOPPED

At a time in everyone’s life, we come to find ourselves in a situation where the music stops, and we must go on.  The unfortunate truth about life is that the unexpected will happen. Some of us learn from it, some of us change because of it and some of us find our life’s calling because of it. The latter was the case for me.  After our dad picked us up from middle school, we spent that afternoon like we had every afternoon that month. We went to the oncology unit at the hospital, where my brother was admitted.

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THE MAN IN A BLUE SARONG

I remember him. I remember the man in the dark blue sarong the same way I remember the lines on back of my own hand. He was hunched over next to a column on a dirty platform at a railway station in Calcutta, India in the middle of the harsh summer sun. His hands were withered, his fingers and toes looked like tiny nubs, and he was completely malnourished and alone. He had opaque blue eyes, as if fog had taken place of his irises and pupils.

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PATIENT “OWNERSHIP”

I studied insects in college; my favorite insects were the bees (I found them diligent and so helpful to humankind).  One of my favorite classes was about medical diseases caused by insects. My professors noticed my interest in the medical side of things and connected me with a professor who did clinical research. Our work focused on a clinical trial for children with intractable epilepsy and exposed me early on to patient care and patients.

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It is a simple process. Participants enroll in a few minutes after answering a few questions to create a custom profile with attributes, such as focusing on leadership development, career advancement, women in medicine, work-life balance or stress management. Also a 10 question visual personality survey is included, which is a tool to help people get to know each other. You can merge your account with a LinkedIn profile, add a photo and/or url. The software uses algorithms to help match the third year medical student to the physician based on specialty, personality, interest and hobbies. I was very interested in how well the match would work, considering it only took 5 to 6 minutes to complete my profile.


Helpful Advice and Tools for Starting  as a Mentor

Soon thereafter, I received a brief email, congratulating on my “match”, with mentee’s email address and name which is a link taking you directly to the mentees profile. This allowed the ability to quickly see mentee’s enrollment preferences. It also provides gentle instruction to connect to mentee and tools which may help during the mentorship process. This program can easily be tailored to a formal or informal approach. Process participants can view:


             –  “First Contact, Connecting With Your New Mentoring Partner

 –  “Three Tips for Building a Successful Mentoring Relationship

             –  1.1.1.1.1.1. Beginning:  How to set up initial contact

             –  1.1.1.1.1.2. Mid Cycle Check in January

 –  1.1.1.1.1.3. Closure Plan in May


Reaching Out

Once you have been “matched” it is important to reach out as soon as possible to touch base. The initial communication was an email introduction. This was a short paragraph introducing myself, reason for writing and sharing more about myself to add a personal touch and setting an action for a phone call/meeting to learn more about each other and discuss the mentorship relationship. This served as an ice breaker and led to scheduling a face to face meeting.


Initial Meeting

The pair-matching feature worked very well. We had an enjoyable conversation over dinner in a relaxing environment. During our meeting we reviewed the mentoring partnership agreement, provided through Mentorcliq. This led to a thoughtful discussion on the following:



Setting mutual expectations, specific goals and ground rules will help create and sustain an impactful relationship. At the end of the evening, we had a plan to meet again.


Overall Program

So far, the ease, structure and flexibility of the program is exceeding my expectations.  Initial milestone was a success. The program encourages interaction, collaboration and a structure to help set attainable goals. It provides an opportunity to ask questions and help someone discover more about themselves and their path. Though our lives can be extremely busy with work and family obligations, consider adding another dimension to your life. There is much to gain when you become a mentor. Contact Chris Hickey, Lexington Medical Society if you have an interest in participating: cmhickey@lexingtondoctors.org.    

Third year UK Medical Student Kodie Stone (left) meets with Mentor Mamata Majmundar, M.D., F.A.A.F.P. (right).


Who played a significant role in your journey to becoming a physician?

My senior year of high school I applied to participate in a University program for rural students. During this process I had the opportunity to converse with an amazing woman, Carol, who is passionate about helping others and dedicated to her students. She has a wonderful heart and a genuine interest in my well being. She truly cared about me as a person. This connection has blossomed over the last two decades. Her continuous positivity, encouragement and ability to see my capabilities have helped me become the person I am today. Thankful to have had an exceptional mentor.


Lexington Medical Society-University of Kentucky College of Medicine Mentorship Program:


Benefits of Mentoring

Studies show there are many benefits to a mentor/mentee relationship. As a mentor there is personal satisfaction, professional development as well as renewing your commitment to your field profession. It is also an opportunity for self reflection and an appreciation of a new

BY MAMATA MAJMUNDAR, MD, F.A.A.F.P. & KODIE STONE

perspective. Mentees can benefit with an opportunity to increase personal and professional confidence, network, receive support and guidance. Mentoring is an opportunity to recall your enthusiasm for choosing medicine while allowing mentees to gain perspective from experienced physicians.


Adding Value for Physicians

Lexington Medical Society is strategically focused on adding value for physicians. As part of this initiative, we embarked on a mentorship program with the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Based on the advice from medical student leadership, our 10 month program is designed to partner incoming third year medical students with physician mentors. These students have completed two years of academics and are transitioning to clinical training. It was important to develop a program which was simple, efficient and authentic. The Lexington Medical Society applies an online mentoring software program, Mentorcliq, to help support and continue the mentor/ mentee relationship. The program serves as a central online hub provides access to tools, best practice advice, a resource library and worksheets to aid the mentor/mentee relationship.


Enrollment