Mentoring Is More Than Teaching

Topics: Mentor

Through my experience as a pharmacy student, I was lucky enough to be taught by some remarkable individuals. Each of them were vastly different, distinct in where their interests lie to what their field of specialty was. However, they had a streak of core values that tied them all together. Those individuals were truly inspiring, showing me the kind of mentor and teacher I wished to be. As a student, some of the most important things given to me by my mentors, teachers, and preceptors were time, autonomy, guidance, and a positive relationship.

Therefore, these are the same values and core strengths that I wish to provide for my own students.

Time is fleeting. It is something preciouses yet un collectable for it is always passing. The number one thing that influenced my learning was the time that the preceptor was willing to invest into my experience. It was truly the thing that made the largest impact for it was something taken from them and given to me.

In my experience, the amount of time someone was willing to invest in me as a student, made a world of a difference in my learning, despite the topic I was learning. Therefore, I see it as one of the most valuable things for me to invest into my students. I will do my best to give my students the time they disserve in order to help them advance in their knowledge and experience. It is something I am willing to sacrifice of my own, because when others did it for me, I was pushed to excel.

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I hope to give my students enough attention and guidance for them to grow and feel as though they have someone who truly cares about their growth. In general students will try harder to learn and succeed if they feel as though someone cares about their education. One of the best ways to convey such a caring is by investing time into that student’s schooling.

Autonomy is something I believe to be extremely important in the growth of a student. A plant can only grow so big if it’s planted in a small pot. However, if given the room a plant will deepen its roots, stretch its leaves towards the light and grow. I believe autonomy works in a similar way. Therefore, I will strive to give students enough guidance while attempting to step back and provide room for them to stretch their knowledge and critical thinking. If done appropriately they will grow to fill the space left for them, growing both in their confidence and as future pharmacists. Autonomy is one of the things that will help a learner begin to make the transition from student to clinician.

The relationship I strive to have between myself and my students is that of a mentor and a mentee. My goals are not only to teach clinical facts but to guide and help students navigate the pharmacy world they are stepping into. I want to build a trust with my students so that they harbor confidence in me to be that guide and mentor for them. Mentors have the power to greatly impact their mentees, which leaves them with an extraordinary responsibility. It is a responsibility I take seriously for I am potentially teaching my future colleagues and individuals who may go on to impact the lives of their patients and the medical field. Wanting to better the future, I aspire to be a mentor capable of helping my mentees become the best of their abilities. Through my mentorship I hope to impart certain values onto my students which I believe will only serve to benefit my mentees, helping them to grow and succeed.

The values I wish to convey onto my students are that of the power of positivity and open-mindedness. For it is easy to avoid things that make us uncomfortable, but growth rarely happens by avoiding weaknesses and unfamiliarity. While filling the role of a student its best to not have any internal berries to learning. Staying positive and open to new experiences is something that greatly helped me grow and for that reason I strive to pass those values on to my students. Fear of failure shouldn’t be something holding student’s back for not attempting something is a failure of its own, and often times it is through failure that we learn the most valuable lessons. Through the trust built with my students I will act as their guide in the realm of pharmacy, and I will guide them to the edge of their comfort zone and encourage them to take a step beyond it. For example, if students fear making a recommendation to a prescriber, I will encourage them to do just that, with my guidance. If they fear giving presentations to pharmacy professional or providers, I will guide them through those turbulent waters, and will provide them tools and support as they take sail on their own. By learning to be open to new experiences and having a positive outlook, students will be better prepared to take on differing responsibilities and challenges.

I aspire to help my students fulfill their best potential, for them to not only learn but to grow as future pharmacists. Through mentorship I hope to build strong and meaningful relationships with my students where we have trust and a mutual respect for each other. The investment of my time, support, and encouragement while providing room for individual growth will provide for my students the positive yet challenging environment conducive to their learning and clinical development.

I measure the success of the students and my teachings by the growth seen in the students. Because every student is different and may be starting at a different level, I believe this to be the best way to determine the success of my teaching. The goal is not for the students to just know more than when they came to me, but for them to grow in a way that will help them in their next rotation or experience. Because all rotations have differences in information or scopes of practice, my goals do not center on information alone but on helping them progress as a whole. I feel that this approach helped me as a student the most in my growth of knowledge and overall responsibility. I hope that that no matter where my students go next, that they will start with more tools for success than they did when beginning with me, and ultimately I wish for their success.

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Mentoring Is More Than Teaching. (2022, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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