Jennie Broders, PharmD
The question was innocent but threw me off guard. “You’re a pharmacist? I thought they locked you in the basement!”
I assured my recently admitted COPD patient that we pharmacists are often granted relief from our mysterious pharmacy lairs to spend time with our patients. She laughed, “Now I don’t feel so bad for you.”
As a clinical pharmacist, I find that I am a valued, but not always an understood, part of the team. Traditionally patients have thought of pharmacists as simply counting pills behind the counter at the local drug store—a friendly resource. Physicians may have a broader experience with pharmacists, particularly as interns relying on the pharmacist to call when they are less sure of medication choice and dosage but similarly jaded by longstanding stereotypes of centralized pharmacy models. This feeling of uncertainty on my part was only exemplified as I prepared to take on my role as a junior nonphysician faculty member in a family medicine residency program (FMRP). This time, it was me who was hesitant of my role and how to bridge my resident experience with my future career. Luckily, a fellow faculty member in my FMRP introduced me to the STFM Emerging Leaders Fellowship, a perfect support for new faculty and anyone transitioning into leadership. At the time, he was completing the fellowship and thought I may be a good fit for the program as a mechanism for better understanding the role of a faculty member and in turn setting goals for future professional development.
Posted in Education, Faculty Development, Family Medicine Stories, Leadership, Residency
Tagged Emerging Leaders, Faculty development, Family Medicine, family medicine residency program, mentoring, Pharmacist, Pharmacy, Residency
There are many unique aspects to being a female physician. Being a female faculty member brings with it another layer of complexity to the relationships with female residents. As a mentor and role model for female residents, we have a unique responsibility to help shape their future. Like it or not, our residents look to faculty as not only teachers of medicine but teachers about life as a physician. And, a female physician at that.
The female residents in my program often seek me out to discuss issues not related to their education in family medicine but related instead to how they want their lives to look after residency or how they can balance residency with their current lives.
Posted in Education, Family Medicine Stories, Leadership, Women in Family Medicine Collaborative
Tagged balance, education, Family Medicine, life, medicine, Mentor, mentoring, Residency, Residents, Sarina Schrager, Women in Family Medicine, work, work life balance
Deborah Taylor, PhD
One of my greatest professional joys has been my connection to STFM’s Behavioral Science/Family Systems Educator Fellowship (BFEF) steering committee. Most “seasoned” behavioral science educators remember the “jump and build wings on the way down” training model for our discipline. The BFEF is an effort to create a more supportive/less isolated model to increase retention and career satisfaction. As with most acts that appear altruistic, those of us on the steering committee quickly found ourselves experiencing increased energy/enthusiasm and dedication to our work. In promoting a fellowship model of mentorship intended to be an offering, we receive far more than we contribute.
The term “mentor” has its roots in Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey.” In this myth, Odysseus, a great royal warrior, has been off fighting the Trojan War and has entrusted his son, Telemachus, to his friend and advisor, Mentor. Mentor has been charged with advising and serving as guardian to the entire royal household. As the story unfolds, Mentor accompanies and guides Telemachus on a journey in search of his father and ultimately for a new and fuller identity of his own. At times, throughout the story, Athene, goddess of wisdom, who presides over all craft and skillfulness, whether of the hands or the mind, manifests herself to Telemachus in the form of Mentor. The account of Mentor in “The Odyssey” leads us to make several conclusions about the activity that bears his name. First, mentoring is an intentional process. Mentor intentionally carried out his responsibilities for Telemachus. Second, mentoring is a nurturing process, which fosters the growth and development of the protégé toward full maturity. It was Mentor’s responsibility to draw forth the full potential in Telemachus. Third, mentoring is an insightful process in which the wisdom of the mentor is acquired and applied by the protégé. Some argue it was Mentor’s task to help Telemachus grow in wisdom without rebellion. Fourth, mentoring is a supportive, protective process. Telemachus was to consider the advice of Mentor, and Mentor was to “keep all safe.”