An integral component of the Family Medicine Leads (FML) Emerging Leader Institute is mentoring. The mentor serves as a role-model, reflecting those leadership attributes that the program is hoping to impart while providing guidance and support in the execution of the mentees’ Leadership Projects. Every effort will be made to place mentors geographically near the student/resident to be mentored; however, this cannot always be achieved.
Length and Frequency of Contact
It is important that mentors are available to the assigned mentee during the 12 months that span the time between the first and second AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Before attending the leadership program, residents and students are assigned or "matched" with an AAFP family physician mentor, then through an initial introductory call or email, a scheduled method of monthly required contact will be established. The minimum monthly contacts can be by phone call, email or, if possible, a face-to-face meeting. These opportunities help accomplish the goals of developing a productive relationship, allowing the mentee to ask questions of interest, in general, and those specifically related to his or her project, and allowing the mentor to assess progress on the mentee's Leadership Project.
Beyond the project deadline, less frequent communication may be needed, though some additional communication regarding the ongoing activities and curricular life of the student/resident is advantageous.
Though an occasional face-to-face meeting is desirable, it is not required. However, if the mentor can attend the AAFP National Conference and willing to travel at his or her own expense, this is a great opportunity for an in-person "meet and greet".
The mentor is involved with two major deadlines: The Leadership Project Plan (charter/detailed timeline) and final Leadership project submission. After attending the FML Emerging Leader Institute, mentees prepare and work on their project topic/idea, then share with mentor to develop their Leadership Project Plan. Once the mentor has discussed the Leadership Project Plan with the mentee, the mentor signs off in October.
During the months leading up to the final Leadership Project submission, monthly contact should continue, even if it is a quick check-in. We’ve developed a Best Practices(1 page PDF) resource document that can be reviewed and downloaded.
As the Leadership Project submission deadline approaches, the AAFP Foundation expects and requires mentees to share the final draft of their project with the mentor. The project scoring sheet, containing the evaluation criteria that is used by the FML Work Group members in evaluating/scoring the projects, is provided to mentors to help them understand how the projects will be judged. This knowledge may be useful to provide constructive feedback to the mentees for final project revisions. Mentors will be required to sign off on the final project sumission before the project can be submitted by the resident or student in March.
End of the Mentoring Period
At the end of the mentoring period, the mentor and mentee are asked to complete a survey evaluating their experience with the mentoring portion of the FML Emerging Leader Institute. After this point, the mentoring relationship can continue informally, so long as both parties agree. However, the mentoring relationship is no longer under the FML Emerging Leader Institute program.
"Being an AAFP Foundation FML Emerging Leader Institute Mentor is a way to pay it forward for everything my mentors did for me during medical school and residency. Participating in the FML Emerging Leader Institute Program as a mentor helped me foster leadership development in my mentee, but it also helped me grow as a leader and family physician. I loved the experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity."
— Christina Kelly, MD, FAAFP and Project Management Faculty
"Professionalism in Family Medicine is service to patients, service to our communities and giving back to the profession of family medicine. Being a mentor in the FML Emerging Leader Institute is engaging, fun and a great way to give back to the profession that I love. I’m honored to have the opportunity to help shape the future leaders of Family Medicine."
— Ken Bertka, MD, FAAFP