May 6, 2019

Mentor the Max: Realizing the Potential in Yourself and Others at the Michigan Mentorship Academy

The University of Michigan is a leader in mentorship and has designed a full-day interactive workshop to share our model with attendees.

The Michigan Promise Blog
Michigan Mentorship Academy: June 22,2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dinner to follow. Register now →

Mentorship is crucial part of development and success. The University of Michigan is a leader in mentorship and has designed a full-day interactive workshop to share our model with attendees. Hosted by Justin Dimick (Department of Surgery), Vineet Chopra (Department of Internal Medicine) and Michelle Moniz (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology), the Michigan Mentorship Academy gives attendees the opportunity to hear from experts and be guided through exercises to operationalize and learn from past experiences, gain the skills to maximize their mentorship relationships going forward, and even impact their organization’s mentorship culture. 

Definition of mentorship. Definition of discount.
Mentorship (noun). Men•tor•ship. Definition of mentorship: a professional relationship in which a more experienced person guides a less experienced person in professional or personal growth.
Definition of discount: use code PROMISE20 for 20% your ticket today.


The curriculum will cover the full spectrum of information to set up mentees for successful mentoring relationships and to navigate challenging situations. Sanjay Saint, Department of Internal Medicine, will cover what mentors wish their mentees knew, providing mentees with a basic framework for being an effective mentee. Valerie Vaughn, Department of Internal Medicine, will build on Dr. Saint’s presentation and talk to attendees about common missteps mentees make and how avoid them.  We know that effective mentorship has a strong positive impact on career trajectories and productivity, so picking the right mentor is paramount. But how? Vineet Arora, Professor of Medicine, will join us from the University of Chicago to guide us through selecting the right mentor and asking someone to be your mentor.

Finally, some mentoring dyads hit bumps in the road. Mentees should be prepared to identify when a mentor is no longer a good fit. Vineet Chopra, Department of Internal Medicine, will walk us through “mentorship malpractice,” covering the 6 classic types of problems and how to address them. 

Ana De Roo, MD Mentorship Quote
"At my stage, mentorship is important to help me develop my ideas, direct my efforts, and achieve my goals. Learning about mentorship now will help me become a better mentee, but it will also focus my attention on how to become a great mentor as my own career develops." - Ana De Roo, MD


The Michigan Mentorship Academy will also prepare mentors to take their mentees to the next level. Good mentorship identifies what the mentee wants for themselves, independent of what the mentor wants for the mentee. We will learn how to extract “the golden nugget” from our mentees and help them and then help them craft their trajectories with Justin Dimick from the Department of Surgery. Mentors will also learn strategies for inclusive mentorship, aligning with diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, from experts Okeoma Mmeje (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology), Michelle Moniz (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and Jenn Waljee (Department of Surgery). Then we will explore the variation of mentorship practices and take lessons from those who are doing it best. Rather than focus on avoiding negative outcomes, Dana Telem (Department of Surgery) will lead us in crafting mentorship styles rooted in best practices.

Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc Mentorship Quote
"Mentorship is crucial for those seeking to advance their careers in an intentional direction. People often think mentorship is a gift that some are born with. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mentorship is learned, and we will teach you." - Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc

Culture & Outside Perspective

Preparing individuals to be mentors and mentees is one part of the equation. What sets the University of Michigan apart from other organizations is the culture of mentorship. Chris Sonnenday from the Division of Transplant Surgery has a proven track record of culture change. He will bring that experience to us, so that attendees will leave with the skills to influence and even build a culture of mentorship within their organizations. Then we will bring in outside perspectives for a fresh look at mentorship and how other industries approach it with representatives from Facebook, IBM, Fiat Chrysler, and Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Learning from our colleagues across campus and across industries, we’ll challenge assumptions about who we can and should mentor. 

Applying Lessons

Navigating difficult situations will inevitably be a part of everyone’s mentorship journey. Amir Ghaferi (Department of Surgery) and a troupe of improv actors will act out different actions and reactions in these situations, demonstrating how these interactions play out in real time, and then will open the floor for audience members to participate. Attendees will be encouraged to join the actors on stage and vote on specific scenarios they’d like to see. This interactive exercise will provide insight on how different approaches to the same problems lead to different outcomes.

Towards the end of the day, mentors and mentees will break into two groups to build their own personalized Mentorship Action Plans. Michelle Moniz and Valerie Vaughn will guide mentees to help them identify their unique skills, and how to harness resources from their established networks. Justin Dimick and Vineet Chopra will work with mentors to identify their strengths and resources, and how to leverage them to contribute more value to their mentorship work. Both groups will build network inventories and develop plans to maintain and expand those networks in ways that fit their individual career paths. We’ll ensure that attendees walk away from this session with a tangible plan for maximizing what is already in their mentorship toolkits and filling any identified gaps. 

We have designed a mentorship training simultaneously targeted at mentors and mentees. This is intentional. First, we believe that everyone is both a mentor and a mentee. But also, by equipping everyone with complete information, they have a deeper understanding of each other’s roles in the dyad and can achieve greater success and are better able to optimize their relationship. The University of Michigan is committed to the development of faculty and residents. The Michigan Mentorship Academy brings together experts on mentorship to deliver a curriculum on the strategies and skills for exemplary mentorship in a full-day interactive workshop. Anyone engaged in mentorship activities in any capacity will benefit from this broadly-applicable curriculum and is encouraged to attend. Register Now →

Use #MentorToTheMax2019 to tweet about your experiences in mentorship!

Suggested Reading:

Event Contact: Tedi Anne Engler, CHOP Program Manager, [email protected], 734-998-9222

This event is generously sponsored by the Department of Surgery, the Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, Patient Safety Enhancement Program, Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, Office of Faculty Development, and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research.

Article by Tedi Anne Engler, Blanche Blumenthal and Justin B. Dimick

Blanche Blumenthal

Project Assistant, CHOP
Tedi Engler

Tedi Anne Engler

Program Manager, CHOP
Dr. Dimick

Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH

Department of Surgery Chair
Frederick A. Coller Distinguished Professor of Surgery
Professor, Minimally Invasive Surgery

Contact Us

Reach out to join the conversation or to learn more about how to implement the Michigan Promise. Connect with the Department of Surgery or our faculty on Twitter to share your ideas or get in touch with the Office of Faculty & Resident Life to schedule a Michigan Promise presentation at your institution. You can also fill out our Michigan Promise Inquiry Form with any questions or comments.

Department of Surgery
2210F Taubman Center
1500 E. Medical Center Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: 734-232-5528

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @UMichSurgery

Hashtag: #MichiganPromise

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