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Session: Virtual Global Mentoring: Now More Than Ever [Return to Session]

Virtual Global Mentoring: Now More Than Ever

J Van Dyk1*, L Hirschhorn2*, B Goldberg2*, R Jeraj3*, (1) Western University, London, ON, (2) Northwestern University, (3) University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI


4:30 PM Introduction and Overview on Virtual Mentoring - J Van Dyk, Presenting Author
4:34 PM Mentoring Across Oceans: Experiences, Benefits and Pitfalls - L Hirschhorn, Presenting Author
4:52 PM Mentoring with Social and Emotional Intelligence – The Role of Personal Narrative - B Goldberg, Presenting Author
5:10 PM Mentoring Activities Within the AAPM - R Jeraj, Presenting Author
5:20 PM Discussion - J Van Dyk, Presenting Author

MO-F-TRACK 7-0 (Monday, 7/26/2021) 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

The importance of mentorship within health care settings is well recognized and serves as a key component of training to build clinical, teaching and research knowledge, and to advance interpersonal, communication and leadership skills. Usually, this involves an experienced, well-regarded, empathetic person (the mentor) who guides another (usually less experienced and possibly younger) individual (the mentee) in the development of their clinical, teaching, and research skills, as well as their personal and professional growth. Formalized mentoring has been promoted in the academic world for many years to advance an individual’s career development and improve teaching and research. Virtual mentoring is a more recent phenomenon enabled with expansion of broadband internet, together with a variety of tools that allow easier communication across the world. Virtual mentoring has the further potential of providing professional training and education support to under-resourced regions. Virtual mentoring activities were significantly escalated in the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional emphasis on remote instruction.

Both the mentor and mentee benefit from the mentoring process. A challenge for the medical physicist who is mentoring someone from an under-resourced region is to truly understand the local circumstances of the mentee’s environment including the institutional, societal, economic, cultural, political, clinical, and technological perspectives. Additional challenges relate to time-zone differences, insufficient internet bandwidth, and limitations in time and availability. A further challenge relates to mentoring associated with practical hands-on activities in a clinical environment, especially in the context of medical physics residency programs.

There is evidence that mentorship works the best when the mentor and mentee have explicitly shared their values, interests, expectations, and goals. During the past year, research and practice in remote mentoring have further highlighted the need to reassess, re-evaluate, and reconnect intentionally between mentor and mentee. We will demonstrate mentoring approaches that extend best practices of shared understanding and trust building to remote mentoring.

This session will provide: (1) an overview of global mentoring, in healthcare and academic contexts, and at multiple levels (e.g., graduate student, medical physics resident, early career medical physicist, mid-career medical physicist, academic medical physicist), (2) a discussion of the foundational frameworks of successful mentoring methods, with an emphasis on virtual mentoring, (3) a discussion of factors influencing the success of virtual mentoring in medical physics, and (4) a summary of AAPM mentoring activities, particularly those aimed at trainees and early careers.

Learning Objectives
1. Describe an overview of global mentoring in the clinical and research settings and the benefits that it provides.
2. Define the characteristics of successful approaches to virtual mentoring.
3. Explore and self-reflect on virtual mentoring methods, i.e., techniques and technologies and identify strategies to apply to their practice.
4. Describe AAPM mentoring activities.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: License agreement with Modus Medical Devices, Inc. of London, Ontario, Canada



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