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Academic Mentorship: The Role of Faith

When it comes to finding a mentor in your academic medicine journey, one aspect that often goes overlooked is the importance of faith. We often seek mentors who can guide us, provide valuable insights, and help us succeed. But what about their belief in us? Can faith play a significant role in a mentor's impact on our lives? In this blog post, we will explore how faith influences the mentor's role and why it is crucial to surround ourselves with mentors who believe in our potential.


A Mentor Can only Gift you What They Already Have

Mentors can only gift what they have, and that includes their faith. A mentor who genuinely believes in your abilities has the power to pass on that belief to you. Their faith becomes a precious gift that can shape your confidence and drive your success. On the other hand, a mentor who lacks faith in your potential may inadvertently share their doubts and hinder your growth. It is essential to be mindful of this dynamic as you choose the mentors who will accompany you on your academic medicine journey.


Confirmation Bias can Hurt You

In academic medicine, confirmation bias is a well-known concept. If someone, even a mentor, believes that you cannot succeed, they will unconsciously seek evidence to confirm their belief. Gaps or weaknesses in your skills or knowledge will be interpreted as proof of your incapability. This mindset can lead to withholding crucial information and opportunities, as they assume you won't be able to make use of them. Unfortunately, I experienced this firsthand with a mentor who, despite being impressive in many ways, didn't believe in my potential. As a result, they held back valuable information that could have helped me succeed.


Surround Yourself with Mentors who Believe in You

To thrive in academic medicine, it is crucial to surround yourself with mentors who genuinely believe in your ability to succeed. These mentors see gaps or areas for improvement as opportunities to provide guidance and support. They will eagerly share information, knowing that you have the capability to utilize it effectively. Believing mentors will invest their time in your growth, nominating you for opportunities and pushing you to reach your full potential. Their faith in you becomes a catalyst for your professional development.

Identifying a believer versus a doubter in mentorship can be challenging. However, there are signs that can help you make this distinction. A mentor who believes in you will be impressed by your potential even before you have accomplished anything tangible. They recognize your journey, your achievements thus far, and are confident in your ability to overcome future challenges. Their faith is grounded in your growth and progress.


Avoid Mentors Who Don't

On the other hand, a doubting mentor may not overtly express their lack of faith, but you can sense it. They may praise your achievements yet subtly undermine your potential. Their doubts might manifest in subtle ways, and they may withhold valuable information or opportunities that could propel your success.


As you navigate the world of academic medicine, be mindful of the mentors you choose to surround yourself with. Seek out mentors who have faith in your abilities and believe in your potential. Their unwavering support and guidance can make a significant difference in your journey.


Remember, your mentor's belief in you can be a powerful gift that fuels your confidence and drives your success. Choose mentors who will uplift you, invest in your growth, and help you realize your full potential in the field of academic medicine.


Are you a woman in hematology who has struggled with an unbelieving mentor? Try working with a coach who believes in you. Let's have a conversation to see if it makes sense for us to work together. Book your Discovery Call today.





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