I am a medical student at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. Mentoring has always been a part of my life. It was due to mentorship from great individuals that I turned my life around. Half way through college I dropped out because I had no life direction. I did not know what to do with my life. After many odds-and-ends jobs, I landed a permanent job at St. Joseph Hospital. I was only 20 years old at the time so many of my co-workers took me under their wings and mentored me throughout my time there. One physician further advised me to go back to school and get my college degree. I returned to school part-time at the age of 25 to start my Bachelors degree all over again. It was with the encouragement from supportive co-workers, physician friends, and many other individuals that I made that first step that eventually led me here to pursue my doctorate in medicine.
I have asked my mentees what they would want to do the most as their ultimate career and where do they see themselves 1 or 2 years from now. Almost all of them have concrete answers and plans of what they want to do. I think a lot of us are overwhelmed with things we want to do in life, but if we break it down into small goals, we realize that they are very achievable and we actually have a more clear direction than we previously thought. Seeing the mentees realize their own potential and figuring out their direction has been a satisfying experience for me.
Mentoring has been important to me because without mentorship, I don’t think I would be here. It was the mentorship from those individuals, who walked before me and who gave me encouragement, that makes me realize everything is possible. Sometimes, we need that small spark of light in a dark tunnel so that we know we are near.
We learn from those who walk before us. I think mentorship is very important to the society as a whole. If each one of us can extend a helping hand, we all can benefit from one another as a stronger, cohesive society.