General Pathway InformationMentor Home Page What is the Underserved Pathway? The Underserved Pathway is a curricular and experiential program that supports medical students interested in caring for underserved populations, both urban and rural. Students in the pathway complete:
- an online curriculum on topics pertinent to underserved populations;
- complete preclinical courses on topics relevant to underserved populations;
- complete a III (Independent Investigative Inquiry) that focuses on issues affecting underserved populations;
- complete a RUOP, GHIP, or preclinical preceptorship with a physician who works with underserved populations;
- choose clinical rotations in sites that care for underserved populations;
- complete two community service hours a quarter and;
- work with a mentor for the duration of their time in the Underserved Pathway.
Mentoring in the Underserved PathwayWhat is the purpose of mentoring in the Underserved Pathway? By providing students with a mentor we can support and nurture the student’s interest in working with these unique populations. A mentor also serves as a bridge to experiences that increase the student’s understanding about careers with underserved populations. What skills do I need as a mentor? Mentors are not required to have specific knowledge or skill sets. Openness to sharing your thoughts and experiences with a student is all that is required. For a list of helpful articles and websites on mentoring, click here Back to top What are the qualities of a good mentor? The key is in the relationship. Both a mentor and student must choose to work on getting to know each other. The mentor and student must also explore what the student needs from the relationship. The student must understand the strengths and the boundaries presented by the mentor. The relationship will do best if both agree on how to communicate and how often to communicate. It is important that both work to ensure that contact happens and they have goals or questions to discuss.
Roles and ExpectationsWhat is my role? Broadly defined, mentoring is a sustained goal driven relationship between two persons where one is more mature, for the purpose of providing support and advice concerning personal, academic, career or social concerns.
- You will explore students’ interests and initial career interests.
- You will help them to understand more about those interests and perhaps direct them to others who share specific interests.
- Over the course of the relationship, you will likely learn about their family, friends, and outside interests.
- You can choose to be available as a resource when they have concerns or want support in life events.
- You will model how personal growth and experience links to career development and academic achievement.
Mentoring Support and BenefitsWhat support would I receive as a mentor? Mentors are supported by the faculty and staff of the Underserved Pathway in the Department of Family Medicine. You may contact the faculty and staff with any questions that you may have about your student, the mentoring relationship and the Underserved Pathway. You will find answers to many of your questions through our Mentor Website, this FAQ page, and Mentor Resources. Additionally, through our quarterly emails we will remind you of important academic events in your student’s life and point you to resources to help your student as they approach these milestones. How does mentoring benefit me? Underserved pathway mentors reap a number of intangible and tangible benefits from their experience. The most important benefit is the relationship that you will form with your medical student. Not only will you have the opportunity to influence a medical student’s career trajectory, but you may also experience a sense of renewed enjoyment and commitment to your own career. Mentors, preceptors and other physicians who spend 50 hours or more per year with their students are eligible to apply for clinical faculty status through the Department of Family Medicine. Clinical faculty members receive access to Healthlinks (a collection of resources for health providers) discounts on purchases at the University Bookstore, sporting activity tickets and cultural event tickets. For more information, please refer to the UW Department of Family Medicine’s Clinical Faculty Homepage. What’s in it for my patients and community? Medical students bring current information from biomedical science courses to you through your interactions. As a tool for recruitment, direct contact with a mentor is often cited by students as a deciding factor in their choice of residency or practice in a particular geographic area or with a particular population. Back to top
Working with your StudentsHow do I get started mentoring my student? Much has been written about mentoring. What is known is that most successful mentoring relationships are centered initially on a project or a goal. As part of your first meeting with your student, we encourage you to share your goals for the relationship and find out from the student their goals. Use of the GLEAM tool can help get your relationship started off on the right foot. The GLEAM tool was developed by the University of Washington to help practicing physicians get to know students in a way that will maximize student learning and interaction and has been adapted by the pathway to help mentors and students meaningfully connect.
|What are your Goals and expectations for this mentorship? What are your goals and expectations for your career? What do you feel are your content deficiencies and skill challenges?
|How do you Learn most effectively? What has helped you succeed? What did you find challenging? Think about your favorite mentor. What made him/her so effective? How do you like to receive feedback? What is your learning style? How do you best assimilate material and experience? Where is your learning edge?
|What previous patient Experiences have been meaningful to you? What worked for you and helped you learn? What seemed to derail you? Have there been other mentors who seemed to be particularly helpful? What about them made that the case? Have the student share a story.
|What Activities are you involved in outside of medicine? Consider exploring the student’s support system. What other roles/responsibilities do you have in your family and community?
|What More do I need to know about you to make this an optimal mentorship experience for you? What have I forgotten to ask you? Do you have any questions for me?
Mentoring Issues and ConcernsAre there any medical legal issues I need to consider? It is usually fine to have a student shadow you in clinic, but please contact Rachel to confirm malpractice coverage for your mentee. This is critical if you plan to involve your mentee in care of patients. What resources are available to help guide mentors in developing and maintaining a mentoring relationship? In addition to this FAQ page, our website contains a wealth of information. Our resources page contains helpful articles and websites on mentoring which are updated periodically. If you come across a helpful resource that you’d like to share and add to our resources, please contact the Underserved Pathway Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, our faculty and staff are always available for questions. How can I tell if my student is having difficulty? Medical school can be a difficult and stressful time for your student. While some students may openly share their difficulties, others may hide them for fear that they will lose your esteem for them. Some signs that your student may be having difficulty include:
- Changes in mood: irritable, depressed, and anxious
- Changes in performance: inattentive, late to meetings, forgets about meetings, fails to meet deadlines for assignments or other tasks