3. How Can You Initiate Mentorship?

  1. Sharon E. Straus MD, FRCPC, MSc1,2 and
  2. David L. Sackett OC, MD, FRSC, FRCP3

Published Online: 4 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118446065.ch3

Mentorship in Academic Medicine

Mentorship in Academic Medicine

How to Cite

Straus, S. E. and Sackett, D. L. (2013) How Can You Initiate Mentorship?, in Mentorship in Academic Medicine, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118446065.ch3

Author Information

  1. 1

    Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

  2. 2

    Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

  3. 3

    Trout Research & Education Centre, Irish Lake, ON, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 OCT 2013
  2. Published Print: 2 OCT 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118446027

Online ISBN: 9781118446065



  • mentee;
  • mentoring relationship;
  • mentorship


This chapter is written from the perspective of a mentee hoping to link to an effective mentor and establish an effective mentorship. It discusses how to find a mentor and develop an effective mentoring relationship. Regardless of how potential pairings are created, before formalizing the mentoring relationship, the authors recommend that mentees meet with their prospective mentor's prior mentees to elicit a “first-hand, second-opinion” of the mentor. These meetings can explore prior mentees' experiences, including examples of interactions that illustrate the mentor's personal qualities, breadth, time for mentoring, responses to emergencies, and so forth. It is essential that communication be transparent across the team, to quickly identify and resolve occasions on which the mentee receives incompatible advice from different mentors. Once a mentor has been identified, the initial meeting should occur in a safe, private, and welcoming environment; usually this is the mentor's office.