Mentoring is an art form developed in the United States in the 1970s within large private companies and corporations and is used to support junior staff. Since the 1990s, mentoring programs have emerged in various medical professions, most frequently in the field of nursing though, rather than physician practice. Formal mentoring programs for medical students and doctors did not develop until the late 1990s (Buddeberg-Fisher and Herta 2006).



Despite the availability of other satisfying or more lucrative career opportunities for the bright and altruistic, admissions to medical schools remain desirable and competitive, thanks largely to an influx of talented and qualified female and minority applicants.  Premedical and medical education has always been stressfully competitive and a financial burden. "Stress in medical school" even merits its own individual entry on Wikipedia.



For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to become a doctor. However, I did not realize all the challenges I would have to face in order to make my dreams come true, and I also did not know who I was going to meet along the way to help me become a successful medical student.  When I was reapplying to medical school, I was told gaining more clinical experience could strengthen my application. I reached out to as many physicians as I could in order to shadow them.


Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from Kentucky Doc Magazine


Be Sociable, Share!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr



© Kentucky Doc Magazine - All rights reserved | Designed & Maintained by PurplePatch Innovations




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

             – Beginning:  How to set up initial contact

             – Mid Cycle Check in January

 – 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:    

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


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.