As a newer graduate veterinarian, you can be an amazing mentor. Having just completed veterinary school you are in a unique position to understand students and their needs as mentees.
There are many forms of mentorship that occur in veterinary medicine. The type of mentor you are as a veterinarian depends on the availability you have and the passion you carry to help veterinary students.
All mentees need a few core things:
- A mentor who truly LISTENS to them
- A mentor who CARES about them
- A mentor that MEETS THEIR NEEDS in both clinical experience and personal development
You can find students to mentor by networking and sharing your experience in practice. Whether online, at job fairs, or at Veterinary Business Management Association talks. Interacting and spending time with students will help develop long term relationships. By putting out that you are open to mentoring, you are opening the door for students to approach you. Once you have an authentic connection there are several ways to proceed.
Tips to connect as a MENTOR:
- Be available to answer questions about your journey
- Share the good and bad days
- Normalize vet students struggles and feelings
- In person
- Set aside one on one time to discuss cases and the profession
- Share protocols, business practices, and teamwork tips you have learned
- Take them to lunch for one on one time
- Focus and feed into them during that short time
- Leave the lines of communication open for follow up questions
- Job Fairs/School Speaking Events
- Leave plenty of time for questions
- Have a separate meet and greet for more one on one engagement
- Share your contact information for future engagement
Ultimately being a good mentor is not dependent on your surgical skills or medical knowledge. It depends on your heart and willingness to reach out and help others in this profession. Congratulations on graduating veterinary school. Enjoy being a mentor!