Mentoring of Trainees
The Graduate Directors of the American Association of Medical Colleges has prepared a "Compact Between Biomedical Graduate Students and Their Research Advisors." These guidelines are designed to encourage a positive mentoring relationship between the advisor and student. The guidelines encourage graduate students to understand that their professional and scientific development is their own responsibility, and that the role of the mentor is to provide a training environment that contains a strong role model, provides financial support, shares professional experiences, and fosters professional ethics.
The Mentoring Subcommittee of the Research Education Programs within the College of Medicine, as well as the Graduate Studies Committee of the Biomedical Sciences, have started discussions about the AAMC guidelines to determine which are relevant for the Research Education Programs overall, and for the program in particular. The Biomedical Sciences faculty are committed to provide and foster the individual mentoring of a Biomedical Sciences student in the science of research and to provide a productive interaction between the students and peer/mentoring groups within their respective laboratories. Each faculty member is committed to supporting a diverse scientific workforce and is prepared and excited to provide a positive learning and working environment within their laboratory for a student.
The relationship between a graduate student and mentor is symbiotic. The student provides the hands and a young creative mind. The mentor provides wisdom, direction, opportunity, and essential skills such as the introduction to the literature, experience designing experiments, interpreting data, writing manuscripts, and developing plans for postdoctoral studies. There should be short-term goals and long-term goals with an end-point in mind. Mentorship involves the commitment of a faculty member to educate a trainee in the art of science. This is a one-on-one process and is the most advanced method of education. The mentor provides his/her expertise, knowledge, encouragement and guidance directly to a trainee.
Comprehensive Mentor Education Program
The education of trainees at all levels is given a high priority in the research education mission at The OSU College of Medicine. An optimal training environment requires a cadre of outstanding mentors, advisors, coaches, and information resource experts who are readily available to provide guidance and assistance in a safe and approachable fashion.
An optimal mentoring environment can increase trainee productivity and satisfaction. In order to achieve this goal, the Research Education Council in the OSU College of Medicine is developing a comprehensive mentor education program targeting faculty and research scientists who are/will be mentoring trainees in the research environment. This will consist of 5-one hour sessions on the following topics:
- The trainee population and their needs
- Definition of a mentor; Traits and Practices; Examples or do’s and don’ts
- Exercises to improve mentorship skills
- Resources available to enhance the quality of the mentor
- Tools that focus on the wellness of the trainee