THE CPA MENTORING PROGRAMLife is a series of valuable lessons - both failure and success are powerful teachers!
Mentoring taps into continuous learning and is essential to fostering successful careers in psychiatry. To facilitate this important part of the training experience, the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) established a national mentoring program for Residents in psychiatry.
Established members of the psychiatric community are invited to consider mentoring their younger colleagues to play an important role in their professional growth. Early Career Psychiatrists (ECPs), by virtue of the level they have reached in their profession, may participate in the program as mentors, protégés or both.
Matches will be based on areas of interest and location. Mentors and their protégés are provided with mutual contact information.
The Mentoring Relationship
Mentoring is a joint venture where two people share responsibility for learning. An important element of the mentoring relationship is setting and facilitating clearly defined objectives. The process may begin with a first meeting of at least 30 minutes where both parties get acquainted, discussing their backgrounds, interests, hobbies, and their expectations. More detailed objectives can be defined and adopted as the relationship evolves. Subsequent meetings can be regularly scheduled (that is, monthly) for three to six months to strengthen the relationship. At this stage, both the protégé and the mentor develop expectations of each other and lay the foundation for a strong and beneficial relationship.
Typically, the relationship begins to draw apart after a year or two, when the mentor and protégé consider themselves equals, and they continue to interact on a more casual basis.
Typical characteristics of the Mentor
• not expected to be all-knowing
• has a desire to help others develop their skills
• can assist in gaining access to help or expertise but is not expected to provide it
• shares experiences of success (“how to do it so it comes out right") and of failure (“how I did it wrong")
• is willing to offer valuable insight by sharing personal scenarios, anecdotes and case examples
• commits time and energy to mentoring with clinical, teaching or other professional activity
There are no perfect mentors!
Benefits for the Mentor
• increased motivation
• new insights and perspectives
• an opportunity for self-development
• increased self-esteem and pleasure
• the opportunity to positively influence the next generation of psychiatrists
• increased peer recognition
Characteristics of the Protégé
• committed to expanding their capabilities
• open and receptive to new ways of learning and to trying new ideas
• able to accept and act on feedback
• able to communicate and work cooperatively with others
• knows when to ask for help
• has a sense of personal responsibility and commitment
The protégé observes, questions and explores!
Benefits to the Protégé
• a non-threatening learning opportunity
• improved self-confidence
• support and reassurance
• networking or partnership opportunities
• sense of belonging
• define objectives and expectations
• things to talk about:
- protégé’s career goals
- how to achieve them
- symptoms or signs of emotional distress
- difficulty coping
- achieving balance between professional and personal life
- time management
- difficult clinical, ethical or research problems
- financial management and planning
- disability insurance
- practice management
- conflict resolution
Code of Conduct
1. no discrimination based upon race, colour, national origin, religion, sex, age or handicap
2. highest standards of professional conduct and ethical behaviour
3. clear ground rules such as the length of the relationship, frequency and types of meetings, confidentiality, and how to give each other feedback
4. a high level of trust and confidentiality
5. no gift-giving, loaning of money, advocating for career advancement, or involvement in dispute resolution
6. respect of each other's time, follow-through on commitments, and sensitivity to cultural and other differences
Register as a Mentor or a Protégé
Take a look at the online self-matching module
Manager, Membership Services
CPA National Office
Tel: (613) 234-2815, ext. 244