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NRC Mentors

Welcome to the Niagara Physician Mentorship Program

This is a physician mentorship program jointly supported by the Niagara Regional Campus and Niagara Health, targeted particularly at physicians new in practice, with the goal of supporting them in their career decision making, dealing with personal and professional challenges and helping them understand paths for advancement and leadership.  We hope that this program will connect faculty with each other and to resources for further assistance.  Physicians from across Niagara are welcome to participate, whether or not they have a faculty appointment with McMaster University and the Niagara Regional Campus. Physicians from the community as well as hospital-based physicians serve as mentors.  While this program is designed for physicians new in practice, mid-career and later career physicians are encouraged to participate, ask questions and seek support around issues of personal and professional challenge as well. This program aims to encourage a work culture that embraces mutual support, shared problem-solving, positive role-modelling and cohesiveness of the Niagara physician community.  

  • What is Mentorship?

    Mentorship can be described as: 

    Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychological support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication...between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé). 

    Being a mentor requires you to be friendly, but you do not need to be friends.

    Being a mentor requires you to listen to the concern of your mentee, but you need to move beyond simply being a listening ear.

    Being a mentor requires you to try to help your mentee come up with solutions to their problems to their problems, but you are NOT a coach, NOT a therapist and NOT their problem-solver.

    When considering your role as mentor it is helpful for you to:

    • Be approachable
    • Be open-minded
    • Listen to your mentees concerns
    • Discuss together what possible solutions might look like
    • Offer support and advice to your mentee
    • Ask if they would like to come back to you for their own accountability
    • Suggest resources that might assist them including ones that you are aware of and ones listed on this site, as appropriate
  • If you are seeking a mentor...

    The section below marked Mentors displays the profiles of local Niagara physicians from a range of backgrounds who have agreed to act as mentors.  They range in length of time in practice as well as medical specialties. They have all provided information about the areas in which they feel best equipped to support other physicians. Look through the profiles and find the physicians who you feel most comfortable approaching.  Reach out with an email at the addresses provided on their profiles.  You may have all your communication via e-mail, or you may arrange to have a phone call or in person meeting.  The mentors are there to advise, support, encourage you, help you move forward in your own career and come up with potential solutions to challenges you are facing.  It is expected all conversations between mentors and mentees will be confidential.  It will be most helpful, and respectful of the mentors’ time, if you have specific challenges or concerns that you wish to discuss.  Mentorship is more than simply supportive listening and involves helping you come up with solutions to your own problems, not solve the problems for you.

  • If you are a Mentor or would like to become one...

    You are a mentor because you have been identified by your colleagues and/or leaders as someone who is a positive influence on those around them and has qualities that would make them excellent candidates to support new physicians or those who are facing personal or career challenges.  When you are contacted by a potential mentee, it would be helpful if you could respond to them via e-mail as soon as your schedule allows.  You may wish to arrange a telephone conversation or an in-person meeting, or you may have most of your connection through e-mail. There is no expectation of long-term relationships or significant time commitments through this program.  Many mentors may not be contacted for long stretches of time or may only have brief contact with a mentee around a specific topic.  If you feel that the physician who has contacted you requires further support, or support beyond what you are able to provide, there are links below for additional resources that you can share with your mentee including the Niagara Health physician wellness program, physician coaching, and the OMA Physician Health Program.  If you are immediately concerned about the safety of a physician, please encourage them to seek attention through the emergency department or connect them with a crisis line.  It is expected all conversations between mentors and mentees will be confidential.

    There is helpful information below concerning the role of being a mentor in general and some specific articles about mentorship from non-academic and academic sources.

    If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Dr. Amanda Bell, Regional Assistant Dean, Niagara Regional Campus at: bellam@mcmaster.ca

Physician Wellness Support and Resources

  • Online Resources

  • Ways you can support your colleagues

  • Further Resources for physicians

  • Articles about mentorship

Mentors

  • 5 years or less in practice

  • 6 to 10 years in practice

  • 11 to 15 years in practice

  • 16 to 20 years in practice

  • 20 or more years in practice

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