Magic Mentors

Great mentors are made, not born—but what makes them successful?

For starters: training and “protected time” devoted to mentorship. Mentees should also be encouraged to question the status quo, engage in mutually beneficial debate with more senior scientists and “experience their own successes and failures,” write Flora Katz and Roger I. Glass in a new series on mentorship in global health, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Inspired by Fogarty mentorship training workshops in low and middle-income countries, the series aims to kick-start—and embed—mentorship training in LMIC research organizations.

In another installment, Boston University's Davidson H. Hamer and colleagues note that quality mentorship goes beyond the individual, seeping into health systems and improving clinical care. But defining competencies is a key to successful mentorship. The authors propose a framework of competencies, from coping with relationship challenges to carving out roles and responsibilities.  

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