5 things I’ve learned from being a mentor:
1. I LOVE being a veterinarian! When I get to mentor a new grad, I’m able to relive that excitement I felt at the beginning of my career. When I witness a lightbulb moment or watch someone conquer a new skill, I remember those moments I had years ago and I feel excited all over again
2. I always have so much to learn. Mentoring is a two-way process, and I get just as much out of the relationship as my mentee gets. Learning about recent advances in our field (using a free-style libre for home glucose monitoring? Yes, please!) and learning new skills (pedicle ties for cat spays? So cool!) are some of the things I get out of the mentoring relationship.
3. Helping people succeed makes me happy. Becoming a vet is not easy, and the transition from school or internship to first job brings a whole host of challenges. Easing new vets into their career and helping them become successful during this transition brings me joy.
4. Paying it forward feels good. I would not be where I am today without great mentors. It feels good to be that person for someone else.
5. Little things make a big difference. Yes, teaching someone a tricky new skill or helping a new vet interpret complicated lab results is important. But sometimes a reassuring smile or a “You got this!” hollered across the treatment room floor can go a long way to boost a new vet’s confidence. After years of hard work and study, new vets have the information they need to succeed. Sometimes all they need is a little positive encouragement.