Teamwork is everything. I was fortunate to meet and work with several individuals throughout my career. Through my experiences, I have certainly learned a lot. However, I hope I was able to give even more back. As a mentor, I believe that I should provide:
1. A clear vision of mission.
2. Opportunities to grow and attain independence.
3. Inspiration, example and innovation.
Being a mentor is creative and fulfilling work that begins with creating a tailored plan that fits both the mentee’s and mentor’s interests, goals and passion. My mentoring focus on providing a mentee an opportunity to focus her research in the clinical setting analyzing data from charts or in the lab, conducting bench-side work in molecular biology. At the same time mentorship is more than just science. It is very important to provide an optimal condition to grow, to mature, and to become independent. I treat this task with utmost diligence and responsibility. Frequently, I have seen the struggle of junior faculty or students. This led to my efforts to established In-Training Section of the SCCM. Many initiatives started there during my tenure as a Chair continues until today. I continue to stay involved by being a mentor, participating in various initiatives championed by the University of Pennsylvania (CURF, Global Health), Society of Critical Care, or Cardinal Wyszynski University in Poland. At the latter one, I mentor several posts- and undergraduates students.
To measure the success of my efforts is not a straightforward task. It is also an inherently biased task. There are two examples close to my heart. One is a letter from my student. The letter shows that mentorship is a partnership. Both sides have to pay equal role. The relationship is flawed if either side needs commitment. In essence, mentorship is like dancing the tango.
The second example is the productivity of my students (see the graph below). It makes me smile being able to visualize their success. However, you have to ask what make some of my pupils so much more successful than others…