Updated: Jan 12, 2020
Every year, I meet pre-med students who say they are looking for mentors. Many of these students will have challenges that they need to overcome. For some, it might be lack of advisement, a blemish on their transcript, a low MCAT score, or no extra-curricular activities.
Whatever the challenge, I typically will take some time to share my own challenges and how I overcame them. I will usually end with, “Keep in contact with me so I can help you.” Inevitably, the student always says, “I definitely will,” then, disappears into oblivion.
Many of my physician colleagues have had the same experience with pre-meds. Unfortunately, many pre-med students will continue to struggle with their challenges, while only a few of them will actually reach out. If you are looking for a mentor to help you with your journey to medical school, here are 5 strategies to being a “mentorable” pre-med.
Understand that keeping in touch is your responsibility. Your desire to be mentored means you have to make the first few moves. A good mentor will typically reciprocate.
Establish mentoring over time. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you call or e-mail your mentor 1-2 times a month, you’re well on your way.|
Be honest with your mentor. Honesty will allow your mentor to help you the best way possible. No need to embellish or falsify.
Involve your mentor in the process. Engage your mentor by asking for his/her opinion or assistance. Mentors love this!
Make progress towards your goal. The more progress you make, the more invested your mentor will be. You’ll find that your mentor will become more available to you.
My most successful pre-meds have implemented these 5 strategies in our mentoring. So, the next time you say you’re looking for a mentor… Be strategic. Be mentorable!