Each fellow in the Fellowship has a faculty mentor whose responsibility is to help guide the fellow through the program, help the fellow address issues and problems, and assist the fellow in career planning and obtaining a job following graduation from the program.

Functions of the Mentor

  • Assist the fellow in establishing educational goals for the Fellowship and measurable endpoints
  • Assist the fellow in selecting one or more of the Fellowship tracks and concentrations
  • Assist the fellow in selecting research methods courses from the SPH curriculum and outside sources
  • Assist the fellow in selecting research areas and preceptors
  • Assist the fellow in selecting supervised teaching (practicum) experiences
  • Monitor the progress of the fellow in all aspects of the program
  • Assist the fellow in solving issues that arise during the Fellowship
  • Provide career guidance to the trainee
  • Assist the fellow in finding an appropriate job after graduation

We have found that the transition to the less structured fellowship from the highly controlled residency is disorienting for some fellows. In response to the results of past evaluations of the program, we instituted a series of structured meetings for first-year fellows to bridge the gap between the start of fellowship and identification of a formal mentor. These meetings begin the first week of the program.

During the first two months of the fellowship, while engaged half time in didactic study, fellows meet with each member of the Executive Committee and many of the other faculty. By the end of this process, the fellow, in conjunction with the Program Directors, selects an overall mentor for the program.

Early on in the Fellowship, the fellow and mentor will discuss the fellow’s career objectives and educational goals in the program. They will review each part of the curriculum and make decisions regarding such matters as course pursuit of a research area, topic, and preceptor. After several months in the program, the mentor-fellow meetings will be devoted to monitoring progress in the program, identifying problems, and helping the fellow find solutions.

Mentoring relationships are highly valued in the Fellowship. Fellows can and do typically establish close relationships with additional faculty that provide mentoring as well. Although occurring rarely, a fellow may formally change his or her mentor if the need arises.

At the beginning of the second year of the program, the mentor will work with the fellow to help him/her look for a job following graduation. This includes discussion of job types, how to locate job prospects, how to prepare a letter of introduction and a resume, how to interview for a job, and how to negotiate the position.