The Mentor Program organized by Wisconsin Dental Association, Marquette University School of Dentistry and the Pierre Fauchard Academy to help guide students in their journey into dentistry.
The program is intended to build lasting relationships among future colleagues, as well as allow students and practicing dentists to learn about obstacles facing the profession and how to accomplish dental goals.
A mentor program forms relationships between students and members of the practicing profession. It provides an avenue for students to take when looking for additional information, to bounce ideas off of or to get another opinion.
Save the date for Mentor Program kick-off dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2015 at Marquette Union Alumni Hall!
Goal of the mentor program
The mentor program enables dental students and new dentists to obtain counsel and guidance with some of the concerns involved in beginning a dental career. The Mentor Program is geared towards integrating the dentists of tomorrow with the dental community.
“A protégé learns from the mentor who has already gained experience in a field of interest. Hopefully the protégé will embody some of the attributes of the mentor along the way. Through the mentor, the protégé experiences a glimpse of the real world after dental school. There is a lot of variety in what one can do with a dental degree and I have been given the opportunity to see a few of those options.”
– Emily Bugger, fourth year dental student and protégé.
How does the program work?
A practicing dentist is initially paired with a freshman and a junior dental student thus forming not only a potential mentor/protégé relationship with each student but also a big brother/big sister relationship between the two students. Each participant in the program is asked to commit for two years. The program year is kicked off with an Annual Dinner where new mentors and protégés meet for the first time and are welcomed into the program by existing participants. From there, the mentors and protégés define where they want the relationship to go. Several organized social opportunities will be offered throughout the year.
A mentor’s responsibilities
A protégé’s responsibilities
What can a mentor do for the protégé?
“The mentor can talk about the trials and tribulations of dental school; introduce the protégé to other dentists, accountants, lawyers, bankers; introduce the protégé to a real world dental practice; give the student a sounding board and be a provider of nonjudgmental support.” – Dr. John R. Moser, Milwaukee
A mentor is a good resource for helping the protégé:
What are the benefits of being a mentor?
“Often we do not consider the motives or rationales for our actions, and therefore mentors learn more about themselves when they are asked by their protégé the simple question, ‘Why?’ Further, mentoring allows a person to participate in the stunningly rapid growth and development of their protégé in a most meaningful and helpful way. Mentoring is a way to realize the Golden Rule: the more we give, the more we receive.” – Dr. Timothy McNamara, Milwaukee/West Bend
Although many of these things have already been discussed, there are basics to every mentor/protégé relationship that should be kept in mind. They are:
What if the relationship doesn’t work?
If you’ve given it your best shot and tried communicating with each other, contact the program coordinator at the dental school or at the WDA office. They can offer suggestions on ways to try improving the situation or if you feel that you and your assigned mentor/protégé are not well matched a new pairing may be made. Please don’t be discouraged or give up on the program. Not all matches are meant to be. New assignments may be made throughout the year.
A year’s worth of mentoring: A bi-weekly guide
“Mentoring is a great way to get students involved, to learn what it’s really like out there. Dental students – especially graduating dental students – can come out to visit the practicing dentist, spend the day at the office, see what takes place on a daily basis.” Dr. Gene Shoemaker, Waukesha
1. Attend the Annual Kick-Off Dinner.
2. Discuss your mentoring goals.
3. Talk about what it takes to get ahead.
4. Attend M.U. table clinics together.
5. Explore the Exhibit Hall at Annual Session.
6. Talk about living within one’s means and what it means to the future.
7. Attend a sporting event.
8. Take your families to the zoo.
9. Talk about personal values and ethics.
10. Take a tour of the mentor’s dental practice.
11. Talk about planning a career, writing a résumé, finding a job.
12. Do a practice interview.
13. Have dinner together.
14. Get together with colleagues.
15. Sit in on a C.E. class together.
16. Talk about networking.
17. Participate in mentor program activities.
18. Talk about insurance.
19. Talk about balancing school/work/family and life.
20. Talk about balancing a budget, explore financing options.
21. Talk about credit cards and school debt.
22. Talk about the future.
23. Talk about staffing and working as a team.
24. Attend the Dental School Picnic together.
25. Take a tour of the dental school.
26. Meet with a dental supplier.
Excerpts taken from:
Mentor Program: Professional Unity…Now More Than Ever; ADA Commission on the Young Professional
The Mentor Program: Giving Back to the Profession of Dentistry To Preserve Its Future; Ohio Dental Association
National Mentoring Partnership website: http://www.mentoring.org
Becoming an Effective Mentor: And a Receptive Protégé EXCERPTED FROM Coaching and Mentoring: How to Develop Top Talent and Achieve Stronger Performance
Prepared by the Mentor Advisory Group: Ms. Linda Gleason, Dr. John Moser and Ms. Susan John