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 is planned for late summer 2021 and will continue for twelve months, welcoming new dyads. You may complete an application in advance of the cycle. Click “Join the MA” button to begin! If you are not a USCAP member, you must register first to participate in this program.

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.

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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.

Sharon W. Weiss, MD

Testimonials from Pilot Program

Dr. Aubry has been extremely helpful during our conversations in helping me to reflect on key issues in my own professional development and with setting goals.
Ezra Baraban, MD

Professor Weiss teaches me a lot by sending cases to review. It helps me to be prepared for the fellowship and to find the best way to practice in real life. This experience was amazing and beyond my expectations before joining the academy. THANK YOU!
Amir Ghorbani, MD

This mentoring program has been fantastic from my perspective. My mentor and I were proactive about establishing expectations for regular communication, which was one of the goals we’ve achieved. In addition, we’ve met some of our goals, worked on a project that wasn’t initially within our formal goals and are well on our way to completing our final goal. This program has been a great way to facilitate working together with one of the pathologists I’ve always admired as a leader in the field, and we’re planning to continue our collaborations in the future.

The USCAP Mentoring Academy has provided me with the unique opportunity to have direct guidance from a world renowned cytopathologist who shares similar interests with me. Without the USCAP Mentoring Academy it would have been more challenging to gain the type of insight I have acquired.

I really enjoy my interactions with Julie Bridge. She is wonderful and supportive.
Yaolin Zhou, MD

Dr. Arber has provided the guidance and resources needed for me to start my career on the right foot and to have a long lasting successful career.  He has been available whenever I had a question or request. He is a wonderful mentor and extremely supportive of career choices.
Kunwar Singh, MD

Having Dr. Frankel’s experience and expertise has been very helpful and enlightening. So grateful for the opportunity to meet and get to know, let alone learn from, such an amazing person.
Nicole Riddle, MD

This has been an eventful and critical year for me in terms of my academic development as it has been my first year on faculty. The position turned out not to be as promised and to present several serious challenges toward my professional development. Dr. Chadburn helped me work through several of the issues to try to optimize my situation. This spring, I learned that her institution was still searching for a new faculty member to focus on hematopathology, lymphoma and research– and the ideal candidate for that position aligned very close to my interests and goals. In short, Weill Cornell will turn out to be an ideal place to build my career and I will have the opportunity to be more directly mentored by Dr. Chadburn! I will join her there on the faculty on July 1.

The mentoring academy has been an extraordinary and positive impact on my career development in the past year. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and those that have followed.

Genevieve M. Crane, MD, PhD

The mentorship program has provided me with academic and networking opportunities to which I would not have previously had access.