BackTable / Urology / Podcast / Episode #59
Mentorship: A Practical Guide
with Dr. Andrew Winer
In this episode of BackTable Urology, Dr. Aditya Bagrodia discusses benefits and advice for effective mentorship with Dr. Andrew Winer, Chief of Urology at Kings County Hospital Center and assistant professor at SUNY Downstate.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, October 12). Ep. 59 – Mentorship: A Practical Guide [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Andrew Winer
Dr. Andrew Winer is the chief of urology at Kings County Hospital Center and assistant professor at SUNY Downstate in New York.
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia is an associate professor of urology and genitourinary oncology team leader at UC San Diego Health in California and adjunct professor of urology at UT Southwestern.
First, the doctors define the purpose of mentorship as a relationship that serves to connect a mentor, with a certain skill set and knowledge, with a mentee, who wants to obtain the same skill set and knowledge. Dr. Winer considers mentorship a two-way street, since he has been able to learn a lot from his past mentees. He draws a distinction between coaching and mentorship; coaches give small pieces of advice sometimes, while a true mentor invests lots of time in the relationship. Additionally, he encourages mentees, especially medical students, to get rid of the fear factor of reaching out, as all mentors have been in their shoes before. He also emphasizes the importance of mentees showing up prepared for meetings out of respect for the mentor’s time
Next, the doctors discuss the requirements of being a mentor. Although both of them agree that there is no formal training requirement to be a mentor, mentors should possess certain qualities, like selflessness. They should not follow their own agenda–instead, they should focus on what their mentee’s interests are. Additionally, taking credit for mentee’s work is unacceptable. Next, mentors should be accessible to their mentees and let them know that they can remind their mentors about deadlines. Finally, honesty is very important. Mentors should be able to give their mentees constructive criticism.
Then, they give practical advice for mentors who want to guide medical students and residents. Establishing a goal first and compartmentalizing their mentees’ journeys is always helpful. Mentors should serve as advocates, but have to be honest when writing recommendation letters for students and residents. Additionally, they explain that residents become organic leaders early on, as many of them take on the responsibility of teaching medical students. Attending leadership most commonly trickles down to resident leadership. They end the episode by discussing benefits of mentoring a mentee who is different from themselves, in terms of generation gap, gender, ethnicity, and life experiences.
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