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Leadership and mentoring in medical physics: The experience of a medical physics international mentoring program

Published:August 03, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmp.2020.07.023

      Highlights

      • Online mentoring is useful to support young professionals in developing countries.
      • The impact of a global mentoring program on career development of young medical physicists was evaluated.
      • The mentor-mentee relationship can be helpful in decision-making situations.
      • Mentoring relationships can incentivise and promote the development of leadership.

      Abstract

      Mentoring aims to improve careers and create benefits for the participants' personal and professional lives. Mentoring can be an individual or a shared experience for a group, while the mentor’s role remains the same in both models. Mentors should increase confidence, teach, inspire, and set examples, helping the mentees to mould their path, contributing to the pursuit of their personal and professional goals. This study aims to report on the experience of early-career medical physics professionals and postgraduate students participating in a global mentoring program and to assess the impact of this activity on their professional development. The objectives of this mentoring program are to develop leadership roles among young medical physicists and to provide guidance and support. An online questionnaire was administered to the mentee participants. The analysis of their responses is reported in this work and the current status of the programme was examined using a SWOT analysis. In general, the mentoring experience had a positive impact on the mentees. The mentors were found especially helpful in the decision-making situations and in other conflicts that may arise with career development. Additionally, the mentees felt that mentoring contributed to the development of leadership skills required for the job market and assist in personal development. This paper concludes that participation of young medical physicists in a mentoring group program is beneficial to their career and therefore should be encouraged.

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