BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #58
Mentorship for Wellness
with Dr. Julie Wei
We talk with Dr. Julie Wei about what it means to connect with a mentor, the challenges of finding the right fit, and how mentoring relationships will grow and change throughout our career and undoubtedly contribute to overall wellness.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, May 3). Ep. 58 – Mentorship for Wellness [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Julie Wei
Dr. Julie Wei is a pediatric ENT surgeon, professor, clinical researcher, author, and speaker.
Dr. Gopi Shah
Dr. Gopi Shah is a practicing ENT at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.
Dr. Ashley Agan
Dr. Ashley Agan is a practicing ENT and assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.
In this episode of BackTable ENT, Dr. Ashley Agan, Dr. Gopi Shah, and Dr. Julie Wei discuss the benefits and evolution of mentorship in the medical field.
First, Dr. Wei shares her personal definition of mentorship. Traditionally, mentorship involves a dyad: one junior and one senior partner with the knowledge. However, she challenges this dynamic by broadening the definition of mentorship by coining the term “co-mentorship”, a term that encompasses the mentor’s ability to learn from the mentee and the experience of reflecting as well. The doctors also discuss the challenges of finding mentors after training, since the natural hierarchy of academic medicine is not present. Dr. Wei encourages ENTs to attend society meetings and seek multidisciplinary mentors and mentees in different fields. She mentions that she has served as a mentor for respiratory techs and nurses as well.
Next, the doctors explore the idea of work-life balance. Dr. Wei disagrees with the consistent compartmentalization of career and personal wellness and prefers to advocate for and use the term “work-life integration” instead. She also recommends unconventional meeting platforms, such as Zoom, phone calls, and “walking meetings” in order to build relationships. Peer support groups can also be helpful, but the optimal size of the group may depend on the issue being discussed. Additionally, Dr. Wei observes that more female physicians today are able to share their struggles and vulnerabilities openly with their trainees and patients, thus building stronger relationships. She also talks about the importance of allies and notes that mentors and mentees do not have to have all of the same shared experiences–both can still be sources of insight and wisdom for each other.
Finally, the three doctors reflect on their personal experiences with mentorship and executive coaching.
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