Identifying and Addressing the Mentee’s Professional Concerns and Fears

Download PDF of Table 6.4

Typical Questions, Concerns, or Fears (Use as a Basis for Discussion of Goals)

Effective time management at work

How often are appointments scheduled?

What if I am too slow seeing appointments, obtaining a history, or performing a diagnostic or medical treatment?

How much time do I have to perform surgeries?

How can I provide timely and efficient treatments for patients while ensuring thorough, quality care?

What do I do if I need more time to perform a task?

How can I be more efficient with my paperwork?

Client relations issues

How do I deal with difficult client interactions, such as clients in a fee dispute, clients who refuse my recommendations, or clients who leave me a bad review?

What if my looks, age, or title/position play a role in client questions about education, experience, or competence?

What if a client makes a biased or derogatory comment about me or a colleague? How do I take a professional and principled approach to that when communicating with clients?

What can I do to support a client who cannot afford my recommendations?

How do I best communicate with clients to encourage compliance?

How can I most thoughtfully communicate serious medical concerns with clients?

How can I support clients in an affective emotional state, for example, if their pet has a serious medical issue or chronic illness?

What if my recommendation for palliative care or euthanasia is not accepted by the client and I believe the patient is suffering?

What do I do if I believe a patient’s wellbeing is at risk from neglect or abuse?

Personal issues

How can I manage debt or a low salary?

How can I balance work and family?

What can I do if I do not have enough time for my family?

What do I do if I need an accommodation and it is refused?

How do I notice, prevent, and manage burnout or challenging ethical situations?

What do I do if a hospital policy goes against my personal values or ethics?

Team or hospital issues

How do I develop trust and rapport with my colleagues and clients?

What if I disagree with hospital policy, and how can I make my concerns heard?

How do I learn to get along with the practice team?

How do I address a difficult relationship with a long-standing team member?

What if I am not getting along with the practice owner or manager?

What if I have an ethical concern about a colleague’s behavior toward a patient?

What if I experience bullying or isolation/exclusion by a colleague or someone in a position above mine?

What can I do if I hear a colleague make a disrespectful remark about another colleague, or I am asked to engage in gossip?

How can I best support a colleague who is struggling with their mental health or negative team dynamics?

How can I best advocate for myself, my community, colleagues, clients and patients, and for improvements in process, pay, or policy?

How can I leverage my social privilege or position to support colleagues whose concerns or ideas are not being heard or whose needs are not being met?

What are some actions I can take to positively influence workplace culture?

Proficiency issues

How do I manage doubt and stress as a practitioner?

How can I increase my confidence in my skills and knowledge?

Will I be by myself? If so, when?

Will someone be available by phone when I am by myself?

How will I learn to perform new surgical procedures or treatments?

What if something bad happens during anesthesia?

What do I do if I make a medical or surgical error?

How do I handle the unexpected loss of a patient?

How do I admit I do not know something without feeling like a failure or like I am not good enough?

I am interested in eventually owning my own veterinary hospital. What do I need to know?

The 2023 AAHA Mentoring Guidelines are generously supported by Chewy Health and Merck.

Chewy Health
Merck Animal Health