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Financing Biomedical Research

Choosing the Right Mentor and the Right Academic Job

Digestive Diseases WeekJames L. Madara, MDSara & Harold Lincoln Thompson Distinguished Service Professor & DeanBiological Sciences Division & The Pritzker School of MedicineVice President for Medical Affairs May 18, 2005 University of Chicago

Finding the Right Mentor: Characteristics of MentorsShare interests and projects1

Chemistry

Define expectations of the mentoring relationship2

Provide availability and accessibility2

Recognize mentees independence and are generous in providing credit for their contributions2

Remain open to mentees concerns about performance, collegial interactions, and the workplace environment21. Medical College of Wisconsin Mentor Program. Accessed at http://www.mcw.edu/display/router.asp?docid=1130, April 11, 2005.2. UC Davis School of Medicine: Mentoring Program Guide for Selecting a Mentor and Establishing a Mentoring Relationship. Available at http://med-acaffairs.ucdavis.edu/development/Mentor_Guides.htm

Finding the Right Mentor: Why a Mentor Is NeededNavigating a new environment

Translating academic heritage (promotions, etc)

Intellectual sounding-board

Compass reference at times of confusion

A champion of your career

Protection of an investment (from an institutional/deans perspective)

Finding the Right Mentor: How to Find the Right MentorUnderstand your aspiration for a mentor

Evaluate the mentorsAre they available, successful, approachable, well connected both within and outside the institution, and willing to invest time in you?

Recognize that more than one mentor may be needed

Explicitly state your role in the mentoring relationship and your recognition of the mentors contributions to your career development (conversation not interview)UC Davis School of Medicine: Mentoring Program Guide for Selecting a Mentor and Establishing a Mentoring Relationship. Available at http://med-acaffairs.ucdavis.edu/development/Mentor_Guides.htm

Finding the Right Mentor: What the Mentor ProvidesConstructive and timely feedback1

Monitor mentees academic process2

Direct mentees to appropriate channels for resolving and advancing professional issues2

Advocate for mentees and provide professional exposure2

Alert mentees to appropriate career opportunities in education, skills workshops, funding, etc2

Seriously review mentees academic product1. Medical College of Wisconsin Mentor Program. Accessed at http://www.mcw.edu/display/router.asp?docid=1130, April 11, 2005.2. UC Davis School of Medicine: Mentoring Program Guide for Selecting a Mentor and Establishing a Mentoring Relationship. Available at http://med-acaffairs.ucdavis.edu/development/Mentor_Guides.htm

Finding the Right Mentor: What You Owe Your MentorMeet regularly in a fashion which honors his/her style and schedule Share aspirations and challengesAim for a professional, collegial relationship (not an emotionally needy one)

Seek continuous feedback

Be nondefensive

Take initiative

Finding the Right Academic Job: Wants and DirectionWhat is most fulfilling to you

What are the actual cadences of such careers

Think of the 35-year period of the career but:Recognize flexibility in our field

Identify and evaluate those who have established like careers

Finding the Right Academic Job: How to Think About RisksMany advise broad trainingBuys insuranceHowever: Less focused and longer duration

Do you know what you love?If not, try to define ASAPIf so, go with it

Principle: In biomedicine, career insurance may simply lower your chances of being immersed in what you love. Dont worry that if you are not broadly trained, you will risk driving a cabits not going to happen.

Finding the Right Academic Job: Setting GoalsImmerse yourself (But recognize: marathon, not sprint)

Most careers are a blend of planning and the stochastic (Be attentive to opportunity)

Realistically appraise personal elements and consequences (Be proactive in taking account of such)

Finding the Right Academic Job: Setting Goals (continued)Trust instinctual senses

Search for those at the institution being considered who have like aspirations, career phenotypes (Are they successful? Are they attractive colleagues?)

Identify potential mentors

Finding the Right Academic Job: Importance of the Department ChairDoes the Chair value your career type? (Attention to actions, objectivity here)

Does the Institution reflect the Chairs values?

Has the Chair had a career phenotype like that you aspire to?

Do those of your career phenotype do well in the setting?

Finding the Right Academic Job: Importance of the Department Chair (continued)

Finding the Right Academic Job: Importance of the Department Chair (continued)Is the job description defined? (If not, is that due to your vagueness)

The Madara rule (If two people are hit by a bus)

What if leadership is turning over soon? (Risk exists, analyze institutional nature)

Finding the Right Academic Job: The PackageResources: Not just money and space (Intellectual resources often overlooked, often are the most important)

Time resources: Is there a plan to use it well and a fertile environment for such (If not, it will dissipate)

Salary: AAMC data existBenefits: Not the deciding factor/not to be overlookedAt-risk component: Who decides and how?Malpractice: Is this in your P&L? Is investigation so taxed?Clinical: Is there a reasonable period of protection?Research: What are the salary recovery expectations?

Space (investigative): Drymore predictableWet400 to 1000 sq ftPolicies of space distributionMeaning to youConsider Cores

Finding the Right Academic Job: The Package (continued)Nonsalary $:Drycomputation sufficiency/variableWet$300K to $1 million over 3 to 4 years ( unrecovered salary accounts partly for wide spread)

Other:Clinical versus Basic Science DepartmentsAccess to studentsRecord of PostdocsAccess to training grantsCores

PhD:Clinical versus Basic Science Departments (Evaluate Institution, remember Madara rule)AAMC data exist

Finding the Right Academic Job: Job Search ProcessFirst Visit: View as first date (Focus on fit, not detail)Importance of seminarRecognize interview/interviewee mixHelp set up day(s)Bidirectional analysis of colleaguesMeeting the PM challengeFollow-up

Second Visit: Now were seriousTry to identify the closetResources (often Chair at visits end)NegotiationPrepare overviewKnow why a resource is neededThink business plan, get it right the first timeRecognize your accountabilitiesAsk for mentoring committeeNever exclude significant other(s) from this visitEvaluate personal elements (housing, schools)OtherA pre-first visitA third visit

Finding the Right Academic Job: Understanding the FutureDifferences in Academic Medical CentersWhen youve seen one, youve seen oneApplies to promotions

Study criteria for evaluation/promotionAttend workshops if givenReality test published criteria

Be pro-activeie, Letters of support required in five years? Is there a Departmental seminar series?

Finding the Right Academic Job: Understanding the Future (continued)Other: Women and underrepresented minoritiesAssure the environment is healthy; is there a venue for fellowshipWatch out for over-participation in administrative areas (What you need trumps what others need in this area; good citizenship does not require that you do more than others)

Other: Adapting to a new environmentBe flexible; when closet opens, expect itBegin with benefit of doubt extended to othersAssure there is enjoyment; life is too short

SummaryAcademic Careers: a good choice

Success requires your input:Not just in clinical care/researchIn identifying mentoring systemIn biasing toward promotionIn displaying pragmatism and practicality

Put yourself in others shoes:Your ChairYour colleagues, particularly during tense timesYour significant other