Reflective Essay On My Mentor

861 Words 4 Pages
My mentors during undergraduate and professional training taught me that learning is a process of personal growth. As a teacher and mentor at the University of North Carolina, I have come to appreciate the profound impact that my own teachers and mentors had on this process. It is now clear to me that I succeeded most when my teachers developed an interactive, safe, and intellectually stimulating mentoring environment. By allowing me to ask questions and attempt to answer those questions myself, they pushed me to flourish as a student, understand the process of learning, and develop as a person. I now try to stimulate my trainees in the same fashion, urging them to identify the basic questions they have and to engage in the pursuit of answers …show more content…
In contrast to the scientific method, the process of science is non-linear and iterative in nature. Science circles back on itself; useful ideas lay the foundation for the construction of a deeper and deeper understanding of the original question. The process of science is also not predetermined. At any given point, the process can lead to many different next steps. Thus, trainees must embrace the dynamic nature of the process in order to succeed. My goal is to help trainees develop an attitude of inquiry, which is necessary to embrace the scientific process. By encouraging trainees to question, I try to nurture fruitful discussion that can lead them down different avenues of the scientific process. It also brings misconceptions that may impede the process to the forefront, where they can be addressed head-on. Nurturing this type of inquisitive nature is the critical component of the process of learning. I encourage trainees to think independently without fear of failure, as failure itself can open up new opportunities. I also encourage mentees to take ownership of their work and projects. I encourage them to see them from conception to IRB submission to implementation to analysis and through to publication. In this process I act as their guide and am ever present, but I insist that the drive the project forward …show more content…
Receiving the honor, which is only bestowed to 4 faculty members each year from across the entire University campus, is one of the personnel highlights of my career so far. My development as a mentor has been an enlightening personal journey. As a mentor and instructor, I consider myself a work in progress and the professional development allowed in the K24 will only go to enhance the skills that I have begun to develop. I find myself reflecting continuously on what is working and what needs work. In this process, I try to act as a role model for my mentees, by embracing these philosophies myself and showing them how to manage the disparate sources information, time constraints and communication styles inherent in academic medicine. By fostering an environment of individualized learning and emphasizing the importance of the learning process, I try to ensure success for my students and trainees. I am a teacher, a mentor, and a researcher, in large part, due to my own mentors’ investment in my personal growth. I aim to stimulate the same growth in my students and

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