Membership & Fellowship: District VI Young Physician Reflects on ACOG Mentorship

Kristin Lyerly, MD, ACOG District VI Young Physician 

Since the debut of the ACOG National Mentorship Program, which originated as a pilot project in District VI, many have participated, either through providing guidance or reaping the benefits of guidance from an experienced mentor. Mentorship is an essential element of our profession. Think back to your undergraduate days, medical school, residency, or when you were new in your practice.  If someone hadn’t pointed you in the right direction or reinforced that you were already headed there, your path may have been much more difficult or very different. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.” Still, finding that somebody, that connection with someone who “clicks”, can be challenging. And that’s where ACOG comes in.

The leaders of ACOG recognize that creating healthy mentoring connections has many benefits for your personal life and career. ACOG’s Mentorship Program, with its roots in District VI, was developed to match mentors and mentees with similar interests, effectively starting that conversation. It involves a one-year relationship, during which emails, phone calls, and even in-person meetings can be arranged to encourage communication between mentor and mentee. The level of commitment ranges widely, depending on the needs of the each party, and may persist long after the year has passed.  

ACOG Mentorship Mingle

The Mentorship Mingle is another popular program that continues to gain momentum; this program was initiated six years ago by District VI. The most recent Mentorship Mingle at the 2017 Districts VI, VII & XI Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas boasted over 200 attendees. Much like speed dating, two mentors at each table spend approximately 20 minutes discussing relevant topics with groups of medical students, residents, and Junior Fellows in Practice before switching tables and meeting a new group of “mentees.” Time flies, connections are made, and mentors and mentees alike walk away feeling satisfied. The success of the Mentorship Mingle in District VI has fostered interest in other districts, sections, and organizations, including the Society for Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS) at their annual meeting this past year.  

Mentorship within ACOG continues to grow bigger and better. The number of matches in the Mentorship Program is at an all-time high and continues to rise. A Mentorship Mingle toolkit will soon be available to provide the resources needed to easily recreate these meaningful events. And, we as individuals continue to grow, personally and professionally as a result of strong and effective mentoring. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Thinking about becoming a mentor, but unsure about what you have to offer? 

“In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care. You must care. You don’t have to know how many square miles are in Idaho, you don’t need to know what is the chemical makeup of chemistry, or of blood or water. Know what you know and care about the person, care about what you know and care about the person you’re sharing with.” — Maya Angelou

Read more about the Mentorship Program and learn how to get involved.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998