After a decade each of serving on many committees and presidential working groups, our work in the ARHP is not over. In fact, we have discovered that our educational and professional motivation to improve research and educate our students has nearly one hundred-percent overlap with the ongoing goals of the ARHP to support the graduate students and young investigators and to sponsor new members. The ARHP offers several opportunities for you to mentor a student, colleague, or non-member through the ARHP Graduate Student Award Program, the Member-Get-a-Member Campaign, and the REF grants programs for health professionals.
A Cycle of Give and Take
Over the years, we have spent a fair amount of time on the front lines of research—working on other people’s projects, collecting data, interviewing patients, and programming and conducting statistical analyses—and, through our ARHP membership, we have also benefited from the mentorship of colleagues who are senior researchers in our fields.
As much as we value the benefits of being mentees, we know it is also vitally important that we serve as mentors to the next generation of rheumatology health professionals. Coming to this realization led us to a commitment of mentoring, which is simply reaching out to those who are at various stages in their careers (e.g., graduate students, medical students, postdocs, new investigators, and non-members) and offering guidance based on your own knowledge and experience.
You may wonder, “If this is an unfunded activity, what motivates a researcher to educate and mentor?” As research mentors, we are enthusiastic about recognizing the creative research of junior investigators and students as their efforts merge evidence, theory, and clinical practice in assessing and improving the lives of patients with rheumatic diseases. Their wonderfully inspired ideas allow us to hone our own research skills by commenting on their ideas and work as they grow and evolve.
As much as we value the benefits of being mentees, we know it is also vitally important that we serve as mentors to the next generation of rheumatology health professionals.
In addition to helping our mentees with specific projects and offering advice based on our own knowledge and experience, we know that another important aspect of mentoring is serving as a source of guidance for our mentees’ career paths. As mentors, we find it very important to encourage students to participate in the ARHP Graduate Student Award Program, and if they’re not a member, to join the ARHP. We encourage membership and involvement in the ARHP because we have experienced, firsthand, the value of the ARHP and the many benefits it offers.