The Road of Mentorship

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2017:37:788-792. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_175193.


Mentorship can be the cornerstone of professional development and career satisfaction. There is literature to support that mentorship not only improves job satisfaction, but also improves productivity, facilitates personal growth, and can rekindle our passion while lessening the risk of compassion fatigue. Mentorship is a developmental relationship that changes as the relationship evolves. There are two broad categories of mentorship: traditional and transformational. There are four subtypes within each of those areas: formal, informal, spot, or peer. Mentorship is critical to the professional development of junior colleagues. Good mentorship is guiding and steering younger partners and other colleagues toward paths of success. As a mentor, one should be looking for opportunities for formal professional development and engagement of mentees. Self-motivation is the hallmark of the successful mentee. The mentee should be able to set his or her own goals, strive to actively seek feedback, ask questions, and keep an accurate record of progress. Although the onus is on the mentee to reach out, mentorship has bidirectional value directly related to the efforts of both parties. There are many benefits to mentorship, such as the promotion of learning, personal development, improved job satisfaction, and improved job performance. Barriers exist, including the rapidly changing landscape of oncology, time constraints, lack of self-awareness, and generational differences. Through a career, mentoring needs will change, as will mentors.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Learning
  • Medical Oncology / education*
  • Mentors / education*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Program Evaluation