The purpose of the AABP mentorship program is to facilitate connections between new and recent graduates in bovine practice with experienced bovine practitioners who are members of AABP. The AABP Mentorship Program aims to improve the new graduate’s connection to AABP and improve the likelihood of the new graduate’s success in bovine practice. This mentorship program is meant to provide overall direction and a sounding board for ideas.
The AABP mentorship program is voluntary for both the mentor and mentee. The Mentorship Program will be available to any new graduates that are current members of AABP.
Formally, the relationship should last for 2 years after graduation. Mentee applications are open to AABP members who graduated in 2017 or 2018. After the initial two-year program, correspondence is encouraged but will not be part of the formal program. The mentors will not be in geographic proximity to their mentees (within 100 miles). When exceptions occur, they can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
AABP will strongly encourage new graduates to take part in the program. New graduates will have the opportunity to sign up for the Mentorship Program in the AABP booth at the annual conference or online at the AABP website. They will also be contacted by email after the annual conference inviting them to participate in the Mentorship Program. Finally, when new members join AABP, they are informed about the Mentorship Program within the application process.
The primary benefit of this program to the mentor is to improve the likelihood of young veterinarians to continue to practice bovine medicine. It is also an opportunity for important service to the profession. The benefit to the mentee is they are able to have another source of advice and information within the profession, not necessarily in their own practice or geographic region.
The AABP Membership Committee, with help from the Student Activities and Membership Committee, will oversee vetting of potential mentors and matching mentors to mentees. The AABP Membership Committee will also oversee the application process for the mentees.
The Mentorship Program Subcommittee of the Membership Committee will arrange a phone or email conversation to get the relationship started between the two parties. After that initial conversation, correspondence can be via text, email, or phone and is the responsibility of the mentors and mentees. Those participating in the program will have the opportunity to meet up during the annual conference in order to create a face-to-face meeting between the two parties. Mentors are encouraged to invite their mentees to conversations or meals with their peer groups during the conference so they can gain networking opportunities.
Guidance for the mentee:
The membership subcommittee will facilitate the first communication between the mentor and the mentee. After this initial communication, it is the responsibility of the mentor and the mentee to pursue further communication. The Membership Committee encourages mentors and mentees to meet face-to-face whenever the chance arises. Events that may help facilitate such meetings include:
If face-to-face meetings are not possible, a phone or email/written conversations should be pursued. Such conversations between face-to-face meetings are encouraged by the Membership Committee. Ideally, the mentor and mentee will communicate on a monthly basis. During the course of the program, the mentee should respond to emails, calls, or texts within 48 hours.
The purpose of this program is for both mentor and mentee to feel comfortable discussing issues that may be hard to bring up to family, friends, or other colleagues. Mentees are encouraged to discuss any personal or professional issues they feel comfortable with, but there should be a level of respect for family time and privacy on the part of the mentor and the mentee. Also, while mentees are encouraged to talk about unusual or interesting cases, the mentee is discouraged from consulting on emergency cases or situations. If the mentee decides to consult the mentor on an emergency, they should understand the mentor may not be immediately available, and may not choose to discuss such a case due to liability purposes. The mentee should also display professional courtesy and refrain from discussion that is negative towards the ownership or colleagues within their practice.
Guidance for the mentor:
The mentors should have a strong record of service and membership within the AABP and be 8 or more years since graduating from veterinary school. Mentors do not necessarily have to be “the authority” in their specific fields, but should be in a similar type of practice as the mentees.
Both the mentor and mentee should respond to emails, calls, or texts within 48 hours. Mentors should strive to be a valuable resource to the mentee by providing professional guidance and sharing knowledge. The mentor should foster an environment of coaching the mentee rather than dictating outcomes of certain situations. Mentors should also be willing to share experiences and knowledge. Mentors should strive to help the mentee meet professional goals and overcome career challenges. When possible, the mentor should facilitate professional growth through appropriate introductions and networking.
Part of the responsibility of the mentor should include the ability to identify possible mental health issues in their mentee. These mental health issues would include (but not be limited to) the issues affecting veterinarians such as depression, compassion fatigue, and suicidal thoughts or actions. The mentor is not necessarily responsible for directly dealing with mental health issues. However, the resources provided in the “Resources” section can help the mentor provide useful information to the mentee.
Become a Mentor.
Comments/Suggestions/Problems should be directed
to Steve Johnson