From Introduction: In 2005, the American Academy of Dermatology established an Academic Dermatology Leadership Program (ADLP). This program has been well received, with consistently positive formal and informal evaluations. Moreover, participants report very high retention rates in full-time academic practice (>75%). An important component of the ADLP is the matching of participants, who are early in their career as academic dermatologists, with a mentor—often located at a distant geographic locations—as a way to help them succeed in the field and advance as leaders. In most cases, mentorship is conducted primarily via phone calls with only a few in-person meetings. While this approach can pose unique challenges, it has great potential, particularly in a field like dermatology. Most academic departments in dermatology are small, and the opportunity to be matched with a mentor from a different institution with a different perspective can be especially valuable. This article aims to outline strategies shared from informal discussions among the authors, all of whom have participated in the ADLP, to optimize such “long-distance”, extramural mentoring relationships, and to describe some of the lessons learned from these relationships. It is not meant to be a comprehensive review of mentoring or mentoring strategies, but rather to provide ideas for “jump-starting” this unique type of relationship. Many of the principles described herein may be applied not only to academic dermatologists, but also to those in community-based practices, at other career stages, as well as in other disciplines.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mary_maloney/41/