EAN’s aim is to strengthen neurology in Europe by establishing a mentorship programme for future neurologists.
To succeed in a clinical or scientific career, aspiring neurologists often have to overcome several hurdles, especially in the earlier stages of their careers. Unfortunate decisions can lead to promising opportunities being missed further down the track. With this Europe-wide mentoring programme, EAN would like to help early-career neurologists to overcome these obstacles.
This programme has been developed with the intention of reducing the number of junior professionals in environments where they are not able to thrive, develop their full potential, or find a specific field of interest.
Guiding principles for mentors and mentees
- The mentor will always act in the best interest of the mentee
- The relationship between a mentor and a mentee shall be on a professional level only and shall never be subject to manipulation either by the mentor or the mentee.
- At no time shall the mentee be professionally dependent on the mentor (e.g. accepting a job from the mentor), as any staff recruitment is prohibited for the duration of the mentorship programme.
- Any kind of discrimination is unacceptable, e.g., due to age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, citizenship, or country of residence.
- In case of unmet aims, conflict, or violation of the rules of conduct, or any other personal matter, EAN shall be contacted and informed immediately.
- If either the mentor or the mentee believes the mentoring is no longer needed or productive, both should agree upon discussion to conclude the relationship.
- Any personal information shared between the mentor and mentee is confidential, unless both mentor and mentee agree that the information can be shared, and an agreement exists regarding with whom it can be shared.
Qualities of a good mentor
- Shares own skills, knowledge and expertise
- Acts as a positive role model and demonstrates an appropriate attitude
- Takes a personal interest in the mentoring relationship
- Exhibits enthusiasm for the field
- Values ongoing learning and growth in the field
- Provides guidance and constructive feedback
- Measures the progress of mentee over the year
- Sets and meets personal and professional goals
- Accepts the mentee’s values and objectives
- Ability to teach
- Critically evaluates and defines the mentoring relationship in a reflexive way
- Focuses on career development as well as well-being
- Practices active listening
Attributes of good mentee
- Motivation to succeed, willingness to learn
- Time management skills - a good mentee must be able to commit enough time to make mentoring worthwhile
- Positive attitude
- Respect for the time and value provided by mentor
- Clear communication (ability to communicate whether teaching has been understood, which makes the entire process much more effective)
- Can precisely define own career objectives
- Identifies goals for the programme and discusses them with mentor
- Proactively contacts the mentor and plans meetings
- Open to learning from the mentor and reflexive about own practices
- Believes in the value of mentoring
- Takes advantage of all mentoring activities
How will the programme work? / How is the matching done?
- Successful matching mostly depends on the ratio of available mentors to mentees.
- Mentors and mentees will include all their information in their respective application forms.
- Based on this information, pairings will be made.
- Mentees who cannot be paired with a suitable mentor will stay on the programme for the next round (if they agree to this option)
- The successfully matched mentor-mentee pairs will be contacted within 4-6 weeks with the contact details of their allocated partner.
- Agreement to the mentoring partnership from both sides by the end of April/October (depending on the application round) indicates the start of the one-year programme duration.
- To begin with, the mentor and mentee will mutually define the roadmap for the coming year.
- EAN requests reports at three and twelve months, final evaluation, and a report for EANpages from both mentors and mentees.
“A mentor is a more experienced individual willing to share knowledge with someone less experienced in a relationship of mutual trust"
– David Clutterbuck –
A mentor shall be informed about the important aspects of mentoring and on how to avoid unsuccessful mentoring. Successful mentoring is characterised by reciprocity, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connection, and shared values – while failed mentoring is characterised by poor communication, lack of commitment, personality differences, perceived (or real) competition, conflicts of interest, the mentor’s lack of experience, abuse (Strauss et al., Acad. Med, 2013)
Mentoring is also considered as a key concept of the Can MEDs framework developed by the royal college of surgeons of Canada and now widely used as a basis for competency-based curricula around the world. Mentoring is part of the 6th Can MEDS role: Scholar (Frank et al., 2015)
Lee PR, Marsh EB. Mentoring in neurology: Filling the residency gap in academic mentoring. Neurology. 2014;82(10):e85-8. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000190.
Straus SE, Johnson MO, Marquez C, Feldman MD. Characteristics of successful and failed mentoring relationships: a qualitative study across two academic health centers. Acad Med. 2013;88(1):82-9.
Wadhwa V, Nagy P, Chhabra A, Lee CS. How Effective are Your Mentoring Relationships? Mentoring Quiz for Residents. Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2017;46(1):3-5. doi:10.1067/j.cpradiol.2016.05.004.
Loretto, Eight qualities of a good mentor, 2019, website:https://www.thebalancecareers.com/qualities-of-a-good-mentor-1986663
The EAN mentoring program is provided free of charge to bring together mentors and mentees. Mentors and mentees may participate on voluntary basis. Therefore, the EAN mentoring program does not constitute any legal claims or liabilities between EAN, a mentor and/or mentee. EAN reserves the right to discontinue the mentorship programme or granted benefits aforementioned and to discovenant participants. The mentorship itself takes place directly between the mentor and the mentee.