AVMA launches mentoring program to spur colelgiality
SCHAUMBURG, ILL.—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) created a mentoring program to help veterinarians and veterinary students share information and build professional networks.
Officials unveiled the Web-based program, http:// http://mentoring.avma.org/, at the recently concluded American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) meeting in Philadelphia.
Dr. Ron Cott, associate for student and alumni affairs at the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine, tells DVM Newsmagazine that while the program is still in its infancy, veterinarians and students still need to get active. At presstime, the program enrolled about 100 DVM/students; 500 participants are needed to start the search process to match up mentors and mentees.Cott, who is the chair of AVMA's Model Mentoring Program, adds the program was created as a result of the KPMG "mega study" conducted by AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges to address long-term professional and economic issues. This study cited retention of veterinarians as a potential issue, and this program is heralded as an answer.
The ultimate goal, Cott explains, will be to "support a greater sense of loyalty to the profession," as well as prepare the next generation of veterinarians to lead the profession through organized veterinary medicine.
The program is set up around the concept of sharing information among veterinarians.
Cott offers these benefits for mentors:
Program developers wanted to make the program easy for users to access, Cott says. Therefore, an interested veterinarian or veterinary student simply fills out an online form. Mentees list skills they wish to develop. Mentors complete a personal profile including their universal competencies. Once up and running, the program then searches its database for a like match.
AVMA reports that young veterinarians also have a lot to teach, especially to older practitioners who might not have experience in new procedures. So age is not a barrier to becoming a mentor, the association reports.
The program is ripe for veterinary students looking to seek mentors to help fill a void with "particular gaps in your knowledge, skills, confidence level and understanding of the business."
The association, in partnership with Triple Creek Associates, created comprehensive mentor and mentee guidelines to help users through the process. Information offering tips on making that selection are included.
The guide states, "Before you make your final mentor selection, remember that an ineffective mentor can be worse for you than no mentor at all."
The guide cautions you on traits to watch out for, including:
AVMA says that mentees have expectations as well. In fact, the association sets criteria, including:
Cott says the topics up for consideration do not have to focus on veterinary medicine, either. Business and career development topics are encouraged.
"You can get into any aspect to the profession you want. It does not all have to be veterinary related. It could be retirement related. They goal is to exchange ideas," Cott adds; "we are looking to create a win-win."