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2008 AAHA Mentoring Guidelines

The American Animal Hospital Association has recognized that the skill sets developed during the veterinarian's first year in practice, as well as at other important career transitions, are crucial to their professional future. Mentoring is invaluable during these transitions.

Recognize the Impact and Value of Mentoring

Through acknowledgement of personal and professional goals, mentoring is beneficial to both mentee and mentor in sustaining growth, accomplishment, and long term satisfaction. Mentoring is a key activity by which employers can successfully facilitate a new employee's entry into the hospital environment.

The Heart of the Mentoring Relationship

Mentoring relationships often include discussion of both professional and personal issues of a difficult nature. Creating a successful and productive relationship requires a mutual sensitivity and commitment to creating a safe, confidential environment, which reflects the high standards of ethical practice.

Mentoring Action Plan

Each mentoring relationship will be defined by goals and distance. The two people may first identify one another, then define the type of relationship they will create. Alternatively, one person may begin by defining the type of relationship desired, then find someone who can fill that role.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are a first time mentee or a seasoned mentor, your improved knowledge of and from mentoring relationships can improve your professional satisfaction. Mentoring is often a source of confusion, or an overwhelming idea that is difficult to initiate and construct. This document is intended to inform, give structure, and help bring the process to fruition. Also, see the AAHA website for additional mentoring resources as they become available.

Evaluating and Ending the Relationship

The mentor-mentee relationship may come to an end for many reasons, including accomplishment of goals, having either party move on to a different position, or a mutual realization that the relationship is not productive. The parties may agree that a mentoring relationship be ended while the personal or professional relationship is maintained.

Maintenance of the Mentoring Relationship

Periodic assessment of the mentoring relationship ensures it is on the right track. Both the mentor and mentee may ask, "What level of direction and support is needed for each situation, and how has that progressed or changed?"

Strategies for Finding a Mentor or Mentee

Choosing a compatible mentor is critical to the success of the relationship. The choice should include someone with the desire, time and expertise to fill this role.

Indispensable Associate Initiative: Professional Skills Workshops

The Indispensable Associate Initiative: Professional Skills Workshops help new veterinary associates with what they need to know—but weren’t taught—to succeed in a veterinary practice. Designed to meet the specific needs of 2015-2019 graduates, this program provides seven CE credits.

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