The USCAP Mentoring Academy
Mentoring is a fundamental human relationship in which one person invests time, energy, and expertise to nurture the growth of another. Mentors vary considerably in style, yet each contributes significantly to the professional and personal growth of a junior colleague through his/her wisdom, knowledge, and expertise.
Mentoring has been an intuitive core value of USCAP for years, but the process had not previously been formalized as structured relationships between mentors and mentees. This changed with the inauguration of the USCAP Mentoring Academy at the 2018 Annual Meeting. The immeasurable mutual benefits of a mentoring relationship culminate in creating a better pathologist. The USCAP Mentoring Academy is the vehicle by which to partner with someone who will make a difference in your life.
Mentor/Mentee dyads define their relationships by profile matching, goal setting and behavioral guidelines, managed through a web-based program designed to facilitate success. Participants have the option of opting out if the relationship doesn’t work or continuing it if it does.
The current champions for this endeavor are the program chair, Dr. Celeste N. Powers, the Executive Vice President, Dr. David B. Kaminsky and the program coordinator, Deborah Waterhouse.
At the conclusion of the pilot year, the program was evaluated to determine the efficacy of the web platform and its facilitation of the mentoring relationships of the initial dyads.
Mentor survey results indicated that 73.33% of mentors agreed they were satisfied with program experience; 86.67% of mentors agreed they helped their mentee achieve their goals; 86.67% of mentors were very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of their match. From the mentees’ perspective, their survey results reflected that 100% of mentees strongly agreed their mentor helped them achieve their goals; 100% agreed they were satisfied with the program experience and 100% were very satisfied with the quality of their match.
In 2019 and 2020 Mentoring Academy Receptions for the dyads at the USCAP Annual Meetings encouraged connectivity and exchange of ideas about the efficacy of the program, how it could be improved, and why mentoring itself is invaluable.
The next cycle of the mentoring Academy opens on November 4, 2020 (with a refined web platform) and continues for twelve months, welcoming new dyads, continuing successful relationships and reinforcing the attributes of the mentoring process.
Some mentor/mentee relationships have changed the world. Dr. Stuart J. Schnitt and Dr. Laura C. Collins have had an enduring relationship that refined breast cancer diagnosis, education and research with global benefit.
How to Join the Mentoring Academy (MA)
You must be an active member of USCAP and live in the United States in order to qualify for the academy. If you meet these qualifications and would like to join, please click on the “Join the MA” button to get started.
If you live in the US and are not a member, but would like to join, please click on the “Get USCAP Membership” button.
Welcome to the 2020-2021 USCAP Mentoring Academy! I am thrilled that USCAP continues to recognize the value of the mentor-mentee relationship. We continue to explore ways to maintain and increase connectivity, with our mentor pairs. This is especially important as we navigate today’s ever-changing and challenging environment. USCAP mentors are of the highest caliber and not only take their role seriously but enjoy it immensely. We hope our mentees will appreciate as well as benefit from the insights and collaborations with their mentors.
The concept of the mentor has been with us since the time of Homer. In Greek mythology Mentor was the friend of Odysseus who was charged with guiding Odysseus’ son, Telemachus.
As a concept, mentoring is multifaceted, but the USCAP Mentoring Academy understands and promotes the fundamental, innate nature of mentoring and is very excited to match our mentors with young pathologists who are ready to benefit from this unique experience. Our Academy is also well positioned to help foster the next generation of pathologists, which is a privilege as well as a commitment.
I believe the quote above attributed to Lao Tzu exemplifies the Academy’s goal.
– Celeste N. Powers, MD, PhD, Chair, USCAP Mentoring Academy
The transfer of knowledge and experience from one individual to another to encourage personal and professional development is a legacy core value of USCAP. The relationship that evolves from and defines this process should be special, promoting an enduring influence that prevails after the active relationship is concluded. Mentoring is not a new concept, but its formalization to encourage longevity of accomplished pathologists guiding those in evolution has been relatively novel within our organization.
USCAP is invested in mentoring as a mechanism to ensure creating a better pathologist. To this end, we have simplified the web-based approach to understanding the mentor-mentee relationship, defining profiles and matches, and conducting milestone checks.
The current cycle began on November 4, 2020, formalized for a year, beyond which the successful relationships can assume a life of their own or continue to live within the USCAP structure. Dyads can evolve, expand, mutate. The freedom to become is reflected in Steven Spielberg’s message:
The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves. – Steven Spielberg
– David B. Kaminsky, MD, FIAC, Executive Vice President
As coordinator of the USCAP Mentoring Academy, it’s been my pleasure and responsibility to facilitate the identification and matching of inspired mentors with mentees whose personal and professional lives benefit from the influence of a mentor. Our experience over the past few years in formally structuring these relationships has guided me to a better understanding of this invaluable dynamic and how best to collaborate with information technology in enhancing the web platform to support these relationships.
We have redefined and continue to work towards the goal of making mentoring a culture change and not a “program”. You can depend on me to help you through questions and glitches, soothe your anxieties, resolve complaints and inspire your relationship with the other person in your dyad.
– Deborah Waterhouse, Coordinator, USCAP Mentoring Academy
Why Become a Mentor?
A mentor is a guide. A resource who helps pave the way for others to succeed. It’s not about having all the right answers. Your role as a mentor is to inspire, encourage, and support your mentee, contributing to their development through thoughtful conversation and consultation. At its core, being a Mentor is being a trusted advisor.
Why Become a Mentee?
With the help of a mentor, you can gain new knowledge and skillsets that can broaden your career opportunities and personal networks for advancement. As a mentee, gain the confidence necessary to tackle short and long-term goals, navigate challenges, and accelerate your growth.
Mentoring is a profoundly and uniquely human attribute-
No other living creature has the capacity to build knowledge and pass it on as an enduring legacy.