Our faculty pursued academic medicine so that they would have an opportunity to work with the next generation of physicians, so there are many opportunities for mentorship in the department. Residents may choose professional mentors who represent career goals; they also work with research mentors in the course of completing the resident research project.
In addition to these professional relationships, our residency program has also implemented a robust group mentoring program. Mentoring groups include four residents (one resident from each class) and one faculty member; the group remains together for all years of the training program.
The faculty member meets individually with each resident in the group to discuss goals, competencies, and self-assessments. The faculty mentor often serves as a support system or sounding board for professional and personal concerns throughout the residency.
In addition to providing a relationship with a faculty member, the group also allows the residents to mentor each other, with experienced residents guiding newer residents through the challenges and opportunities of each year.
These relationships are sustained by social activities planned multiple times throughout the year by the group. Some groups choose to explore Atlanta’s diverse restaurant scene, while others prefer home-cooked meals at the faculty member’s home (complete with spouses and children). Groups have also held ice cream socials, pumpkin carving, and walks in local parks.
From the residents:
"My mentoring group has given me encouragement from all different levels of training. Their support and validation that I am on the right track has been invaluable."
-Laura Ramirez-Caban, MD, PGY2
"I was nervous starting residency regarding the ability to find mentors and have guidance during the stressful period of residency. My mentor group has not only provided me with excellent guidance and leadership but also a group of friends to reach out to when I am upset about something. The upper levels in our group have truly stepped up and created solid study plans each year to help us all improve and excel in CREOGs. Our mentor group meets frequently and it is always fun AND educational. It provides an outlet to discuss difficulties but also to celebrate our successes and accomplishments. My mentor group has truly transformed my experience of residency in a very positive way, and I am so thankful and grateful for this structured mentoring environment."
-Shivika Trivedi, MD, PGY4
From the faculty:
"Making the transition from medical school to residency is a big step. I appreciated faculty that helped me through the rough spots and find it rewarding to mentor all level of residents. Experience is a great educator. I figured I’ve made some memorable mistakes along the way. If my guidance can help a resident avoid a few trip-ups, I’m glad to serve as a mentor."
-Kurt Martinuzzi, MD, Assistant Professor
"Part of what has been great is to see the mentor group take on a life of its own. Each of the residents helps shape it to how they'd like it to function and what they'd like to get out of it. It's also nice to see how the upper level residents act as leaders and mentors as well."
-Melissa Kottke, MD, MPH, MBA, Associate Professor