Mentors and Mentees: A Powerful Connection
by May Hua, MD, MS
Hannah Wunsch, MD MSc
A 2018 viewpoint published in JAMA Internal Medicine highlighted four archetypes of “mentorship”: the traditional mentor, the coach, the sponsor and the connector.1 The authors explain, “To put it simply, the mentor guides, the coach improves, the sponsor nominates, and the connector empowers, but always the mentee benefits.” As I read this article, I was struck by how rare it is for one person to be able to fulfill all these needs, and how I was lucky enough to have a mentor, Dr. Hannah Wunsch, who can and does embody all four roles.
The traditional mentor cultivates a mutually beneficial relationship that aims primarily to advance the career of the mentee. Throughout my career, Hannah has provided both “in the weeds” and “bird’s eye” level support. Whether it was helping me find what field of science I wanted to contribute to, which questions I wanted to ask, or what types of opportunities I should say yes to, she guided me to find a path and vision that was my own. Under her guidance, I successfully applied for the first FAER Mentored Training Research Grant in Health Services Research in 2013, which jumpstarted my research career; I then transitioned to a federally funded career development award, and eventually, to being an independent investigator.
Coaches teach their mentees particular skills, with a focus on improving performance. Hannah taught me how to analyze data, ask interesting questions, and write, frame and publish studies. She always has constructive criticism, and I have learned something from her about every single part of conducting research, from how to write a good figure legend to how to run a difference-in-differences analysis.
Sponsors use their influence to give their mentees visibility, while connectors connect mentees with others who may benefit their career. When I was an early career researcher, Hannah used her incredible network to facilitate my successful collaborations with senior, prominent researchers in the field of ICU palliative care. Since then, I have been able to develop my own international network of collaborators. Of course, this has helped my publication record, but more importantly, it has made research more engaging and enjoyable. Additionally, due to her sponsorship, I have had the opportunity to write editorials in high-impact journals, give talks in national and international forums, and serve in various roles in professional societies and journals.
Early on, I knew that Hannah was a great mentor because no matter what the situation, I would leave her office feeling better and ready to take on more challenges. To succeed in academic medicine, you need someone who can guide you on the right path, and someone who will support and encourage you when the inevitable pitfalls occur. I feel incredibly fortunate to have benefitted from such amazing mentorship and can only hope to do the same for others as I move forward.
- Chopra V, Arora VM, Saint S. Will you be my mentor?—Four archetypes to help mentees succeed in academic medicine. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2017.
Watch Dr. Wunsch’s recent Fireside Chat with SOCCA’s Women in Critical Care
May Hua, MD, MS
Co-Chair SOCCA Women in Critical Care Working Group
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
New York, New York
ASA Monitor recently published “SOCCA: A Growing Community of Intensivists Embracing the Challenges of Modern Critical Care” by SOCCA members Shahla Siddiqui, MBBS, MS, FCCM and Ashish K. Khanna, MD, MS, FCCP, FCCM, FASA. Read the full article here.
2023 SOCCA Annual Meeting
SOCCA Reception at 2023 SCCM Critical Care Congress in San Francisco
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PT
Location: Hilton Union Square (333 O’Farrell Street)
Room: Franciscan A
When: February 2, 2023 | 6:00 PM ET
Where: Register online
Description: Join us for our first Early Career Intensivist Group Meet and Greet of the year on February 2 at 6pm ET. We will have SOCCA board member Dr. Ashish Khanna joining us for a lively discussion about navigating through life as an Early Career Intensivist. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) / Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) / Cardio Thoracic ICU (CTICU) Workgroup
Members who have a special interest in MCS are invited to join this workgroup. Our first meeting will be January 19, 2023, at 5PM CST. Please register in advance: SOCCA CTICU/ECMO Meetup Link.
This year, SOCCA is seeking committee volunteers for our communication, education, membership, and research committees—as well as the new clinical practice committee. To view committee descriptions and submit an application, visit https://socca.org/get-involved/.
You may submit an application for a SOCCA Committee between November 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.
Learn more & review SOCCA’s Volunteer Selection Criteria.
This election cycle, SOCCA will be electing three members for the Board of Directors (3-year term). Further details about the governance structure of SOCCA are described in SOCCA’s Society Bylaws.
SOCCA members interested in serving in an elected positions on the SOCCA Board of Directors should submit a letter of interest, photograph, and curriculum vitae to Vivian Abalama, IOM, CAE ([email protected]) with subject line “2023 SOCCA Board of Directors Election.”
Review criteria by which Board of Directors and volunteer leaders are evaluated: Volunteer Selection Criteria.
You can apply via email only for a Board of Directors position between November 1, 2022 and December 5, 2022.
SOCCA Innovators Award: applications open 9/30/2022 – 12/31/2022.
Gender Equality in Critical Care
Major professional societies & organizations have the obligation to initiate & sustain strategies that support & enhance gender equality in critical care. WICC invites members of SOCCA to participate & discuss ways to advance these goals & values. Understanding & recognizing gender diversity challenges & carrying on the momentum gathered in recent years within SOCCA and outside it, will enable a positive environment for more women to enter & remain within ACCM.
SOCCA has a calendar/list of events. Visit it regularly & save essential dates.
The SOCCA Speakers Bureau has officially launched! As a SOCCA member, you may now:
Have you made any changes in 2022? It’s time to update your SOCCA demographic profile and / or renew your membership. Keep your SOCCA experience seamless & don’t miss out on any updates & member benefits. Visit: buff.ly/3sPMG6j
SOCCA would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our female intensivists during this month and year-round. Throughout September, four of our members will be sharing their experiences as a woman in critical care.
Read: Burnout: No Easy Answers in a Post-Pandemic World, by Sarah Alber, MD
Read: Belonging to an Organization: Professional Advancement & Personal Gains, by Nazish Hashmi, MD
Read: Mentors and Mentees: A Powerful Connection, by May Hua, MD, MS
Read: Women in Critical Care: Where We Are & Where We Want to Be, by Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MSc, FCCM
Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MSc, FCCM, and Co-Chair of SOCCA’s Women in Critical Care recently edited a special issue of Journal of Critical Care featuring women as first and senior authors. Read Dr. Siddiqui’s introduction in Volume 71 | October 2022 issue.
The SOCCA Early Career Intensivists working group provides new members and members who are early in their careers with the resources needed to ease the transition from trainee to practicing intensivist. Learn more.
Have you read “SOCCA, the Pandemic, and the Future” by SOCCA’s Miguel Cobas, MD, FCCM, in this month’s ASA Monitor? Visit: https://socca.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Cobas_SOCCA.pdf
As a SOCCA member, you are eligible to receive a discount on an IARS membership. IARS membership benefits include a subscription to Anesthesia & Analgesia, SOCCA’s official journal, A&A Practice e-journal, free journal CME, access to a member community and discounted registration to the IARS Annual Meeting. Click here to view a list of membership options.
Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship Programs
Have you visited SOCCA’s Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship Programs page? If you would like your organization’s program added to our site, let us know here: https://socca.org/new-socca-fellowship-listing/.