The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine has four main mentoring programs (Trainee, Early Career Consultations, Webb Fellowship, and Research Awards), which have been helpful to provide trainees and early career psychiatrists with career advice and direction with the added benefit of their greater involvement in our organization.
“Although mentoring has been a longstanding tradition of APM, the four programs have unfortunately been run independently from one another with little to no central coordination,” said Dr. Boland. “This decentralized approach makes it confusing, both for potential mentors and for potential mentees, as well as for those overseeing the processes, so, after Christina Wichman, DO, FAPM, evaluated the Academy’s programs for the Council, I decided, in consultation with the executive committee, that the best way forward is a taskforce that will examine the issues and prepare recommendations to the Council on how we can do a better job for our membership in this very important area.
“We’re looking forward to a taskforce report later in the year, and the members can expect an update from me on this (possibly also in a future podcast!).”
The taskforce members are:
Sejal Shah, MD, Chair
Rebecca Brendel, MD, JD, FAPM
Jeff Huffman, MD, FAPM
Katy Lalone, MD
J.J. Rasimas, MD, PhD, FAPM
Ann Schwartz, MD, FAPM
Kristin Somers, MD, FAPM
Paula Zimbrean, MD, FAPM
Christina Wichman, DO, FAPM
“The vision is to create a centralized database of mentors/mentees to avoid confusion and multiple emails to prospective mentors,” said Dr. Shah, Chair of the taskforce. “This will also allow for a searchable record of mentor-mentee relationships. Most importantly, we hope to create a more user-friendly form for trainees/early career psychiatrists to utilize on the Academy’s website.”
The members of this taskforce were recruited based upon their previous involvement with mentoring programs within APM. Added Dr. Shah, “The process has gone smoothly thus far with invaluable input from taskforce members. We are confident that the coming months will bring our vision to fruition!”