Mentoring Resources

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring can be defined as a “nurturing process in which a more experienced person, serving as a role model, teaches, encourages, counsels, and befriends a less experienced person for the purpose of promoting the latter’s professional and personal development.  Mentoring functions are carried out within the context of an ongoing, caring relationship between the mentor and mentee.”

                -Adapted from Am J of Pharm Education 2003;67(3) Article 82.

Why Is Mentorship Important?

Mentorship has been demonstrated to have a profound influence on the growth and development of professionals, as well as adult learners in higher education settings.  Also, it has been demonstrated that individuals who are mentored early in their careers are more likely to mentor others in the later stages of their careers.    

During the Program, our residents will be continuously learning new knowledge and skills in diverse and changing practice environments.  They will be challenged to explore new concepts deeply and to go beyond their comfort zones to expand their knowledge, problem solving, critical thinking, communication and leadership skills, as they grow as professionals.  Mentors can provide residents with advice, guidance and support throughout the Program to contribute to their success and their growth and development.  Mentors can also help the resident as they transition from resident to Clinical Pharmacist in the latter part of their residency year by providing the resident with career advice, guidance and insight.  In addition, as a role-model, the mentor can teach the mentee the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to be a contributing member of the profession. 

What’s the Difference between a Mentor and a Preceptor?

Both mentors and preceptors will play a very important role in the growth and development of our residents.  Preceptors will teach the residents new knowledge, skills and attitudes and will provide the residents with guidance and role-modeling to facilitate their ability to achieve the goals and objectives of the rotations and Program and their ability to become proficient Clinical Pharmacists.  Preceptors will also evaluate the residents on their performance and provide them with feedback to enhance their ability to provide effective patient care.

Mentors, like preceptors, also teach and reinforce for the residents new knowledge, skills and attitudes, primarily through role-modeling and coaching.  However, mentors do not evaluate residents.  Mentor-mentee relationship is continuous during the residency year and the primary goal of the mentor is to provide the resident with guidance, support and insight.                  

What are the Potential Benefits to the Mentor and Mentee? 

Adapted from Am J of Pharm Education 2003;67(3) Article 82:

Benefits to the Mentee

  • Sense support during the Program
  • Increased awareness of the profession and organization
  • Ease of transition from school into the Program and the profession
  • Increased likelihood of success

Benefits to the Mentor

  • Enhanced self-esteem
  • Revitalized interest in work
  • Increased job satisfaction

Tips for Being an Effective Mentor

Adapted from Am J of Pharm Education 2003;67(3) Article 82:

Examples of the actions and attributes of an effective mentor include:

Provide Support

  • Listen
  • Express positive expectations
  • Draw on your experiences

Provide Challenge

  • Engage in discussion
  • Explore dichotomies
  • Set high standards

Provide Vision

  • Model exemplary behaviour
  • Develop new language and new ways of thinking
  • Nurture the mentee’s self-awareness

Example questions to ask your mentee:

  • How’s everything going?
  • How have your rotations been so far?
  • What have you learned so far?
  • What have you found challenging?
  • How can I support you?
  • What are you wondering about?
  • How could you have handled that differently?
  • Have you thought about what you would like to do when you are done your residency?

Tips for Residents

  • Prior to the first meeting with your mentor, write down a few things that you would like to achieve by having a mentor and also think about a few things that you would like your mentor to provide you. 
  • During the first meeting with your mentor, be prepared to talk about yourself, where you're from, why you decided to complete a residency, what you are interested in, what your previous experiences have been.  This will help your mentor get to know you a bit better.
  • Your mentors have lots of experience and insight and are also very busy people.  Therefore, it is important to discuss with your mentor your needs in terms of meeting frequency and the best method(s) of communication.  This time commitment should be mutually agreed upon and may change throughout the residency year.  For example, you may decide to meet more frequently at the beginning of the year or when making decisions about career choices, ect.



    Some Interesting Articles

    1. Haines ST.  Statements: The Mentor-Protégé Relationship.  Am J of Pharm Education 2003;67(3):Article 82.
    2. Fuller K, et al.  Statements: The Role of the Mentor in Retaining Junior Pharmacy Faculty Members. Am J of Pharm Education 2008;72(2):Article 41.
    3. Wensel TM.  Mentor of preceptor: What is the difference?  Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2006;63:1597.


    -Last updated June 5, 2018