October 13, 2021
Insider Advice on AAPA’s Mentoring Platform
By Lindsey Blair
September 18, 2020
Have you ever wanted to ask a newly graduated PA what rotations were really like? Or a more seasoned PA at your practice how they negotiated their four-day work week? Or maybe you’ve got the experience to answer these questions for a peer? A lot of PA students and practicing PAs have questions that only colleagues can answer. AAPA’s Mentor Match is here to help. Mentor Match is a career development tool that helps PAs or PA students match with mentors throughout the country. Mentors support mentees by answering questions, offering advice, and sharing experiences. Here are five tips to get started. Enroll and find your mentor or mentee today!
While there are mentors and mentees signed up from across the country on Mentor Match, if you can’t find one in your city just yet, consider connecting with someone from a different location. Remember that there are so many ways to connect with modern technology. If you live near your mentor or mentee, you can meet in person, but many mentors and mentees use video chat, email, and phone calls to connect. Maybe you can connect at a CME event (or AAPA Conference!) that would serve both of your career goals.
Whether you are still finishing PA school or have been in the profession for over 20 years…you can mentor another PA or PA student. Mentees are seeking people like you to ask questions and learn more about where they are – or where they’re going next – in the PA profession. Maybe it’s how to get going in the profession if they are just graduating, or maybe they are thinking about changing specialties and want some advice on how to do so. The possibilities of mentor/mentee pairings are endless, so remember that whatever your experience level, there’s likely someone out there that could benefit from your support.
Even though the mentor will have more experience, the mentee should drive the relationship with their questions and interests. As a mentee, think about how to communicate what kind of support you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but make sure you have an idea of what you want from a mentor when you start using Mentor Match. Mentors, be available, listen, and provide feedback or advice. Remember that not all of your experience will be relevant to your mentee’s needs.
Try resetting your search criteria if you’re having trouble finding a match. Scale back your filters and you may be surprised at the results. Remember the second tip about geography! We bet there is someone out there ready and willing to engage in a mentoring relationship with you. And while we hope you and your first mentoring match form a lasting connection, as your careers and goals change, so can your mentoring relationships.
All it takes to sign up as a mentor or mentee is a few minutes of your time. Head over to the Getting Started page of Mentor Match, complete the enrollment information, select your criteria, and be sure to save your selections. There are plenty of helpful resources and answers to questions that can help guide you as you begin your mentoring relationship. You can then keep track of your mentoring requests, relationships, and make any changes to your criteria on your My Mentoring Page.
Lindsey Blair is AAPA’s manager of member engagement. She is a Huddle expert and can be reached at [email protected].
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in March 2019.