Meet Mayo Med

The Official Blog of Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

October 8, 2020


By Justin Kreuter

Guest blog post by Anza Zahid, M.B.B.S.

Mentoring is a valuable skill in academic medicine and is essential for guiding and shaping careers of the next generation of healthcare providers. The role of residents as medical student mentors is a relatively new and an understudied area, which led to the building of the MENTORS program at Mayo Clinic. Read on to learn more about the MENTORS program and how you can get involved!

What is the MENTORS program?

Co-founded by Dr. Leah Mische and Dr. Anza Zahid, the MENTORS program is a platform for Mentorship, Education, Networking, and Teaching Opportunities for Residents and Students. Our aim is to help residents identify the short- and long-term goals of medical students while promoting early career development.

Why you should participate in the MENTORS program?

Participation in the MENTORS program will help residents develop skills with mentoring, teaching, coaching, and career counseling early in their career while offering medical students the opportunity to better understand the life of a resident and receive the most up-to-date guidance on the next step in their career in a low-stress environment.

Our program will include clinical teaching sessions, tips on guided study plans, feedback discussions on specific mentee-selected topics, career planning, and network development. In line with current COVID-19 regulations, most activities will be conducted virtually amongst the paired mentors and mentees. We will offer out-patient clinic shadowing opportunities to medical students with their paired resident mentors on a situational basis. To make the process of learning more engaging, we also plan to host virtual large group events like trivia, speed mentoring workshops, and case series sessions by residents.

How to participate?

At the beginning of each year, residents and medical students will receive an email from the MENTORS team inviting them to participate in the mentorship program. All interested residents and medical students will fill out a short form stating their desired future (sub) specialty, medical and non-medical interests, research goals, and their perception of a good mentor/mentee. Based on identified interests, pairing is conducted subjectively to match residents and medical students with the closest possible answers. Some medical students can be paired to two mentors, typically when the student is unsure about which specialty they would be entering. All paired mentors and mentees will also receive an email to enroll in the research study section of the program, which is completely voluntary. Interested residents and medical students will fill out brief surveys at the very beginning and end of each academic year.

How far have we come today with our program?

The MENTORS program, previously named RISE, began taking its first baby steps in March 2020. Since then, we have received immense interest and enthusiasm from both residents and medical students. Currently, we are host to over 90 participants. We are thankful for your ongoing support.

Come join us!

We are enthusiastically looking for new members to join us and become a part of the #MayoMENTORS community. Help us build a social media community that promotes a culture of mentoring by using our twitter hashtag #MayoMENTORS. Through #MayoMENTORS, medical students can connect with residents and other medical students with shared interests and stay up-to-date on the latest MENTORS program events.

While we continue to grow, we hope to bring you mentors from other specialties and departments at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, including pediatrics, neurology, radiology, and surgical specialties. We also look forward to expanding the program to other Mayo Clinic sites in the future.

MENTORS program leadership:

Dr. Leah Mische

Leah Mische M.D, is an Internal Medicine resident at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. She completed her medical training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and her undergraduate training at Duke University. She is a co-founder of this project and is passionate about medical education and leadership. She plans on pursuing an academic career in Infectious Diseases with a focus on global health and medical education.

Dr. Anza Zahid

Anza Zahid M.B.B.S, is a post-doctoral researcher at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. She has been affiliated with Cambridge University Hospitals, UK, for electives in Neurocritical-Care and later, MD Anderson-Stem Cell Transplant Department as a visiting medical student. Her research interests are in oncology and immunology. She is a co-founder of this project and shares great enthusiasm for medical education to foster a culture of mentorship and advancing careers.

Divya Takkellapati

Divya Takkellapati is a medical student at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She attended undergrad at the University of Cincinnati, where she earned degrees in biology and French. She has interests in internal medicine, primary care, and teaching. She is currently a leader of the Internal Medicine Interest Group at the medical school and is a member of the MENTORS team.

Caroline Doherty

Caroline Doherty is a medical student in the MD/PhD program at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a BS in Biochemistry.  Her research interests are currently in cancer biology and more specifically, have been in the use of nanomedicine for tumor-targeted delivery of gene therapy.  She is very excited to be joining the MENTORS team and to be the M1 student representative.

Dr. Jennifer Kleinman Sween

Jennifer Kleinman Sween M.D, is an academic hospitalist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. She holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and completed medical school at the University of Minnesota followed by Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. She has received numerous honors and awards including Excellence in Teamwork and Hospital Internal Medicine Educator Award. She is Quality Chair for the Division of Hospital Internal Medicine and serves on Midwest Clinical Practice Quality Oversight Committee. She is the faculty mentor for the Internal Medicine Interest Group and serves as faculty supervisor for the mentorship project at Mayo Clinic for medical students and residents.

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