In today’s unpredictable healthcare environment, mentoring new healthcare professionals is more important than ever. Most of us have benefited from mentors: Individuals who provided us with the guidance, encouragement, and challenges to help us grow personally and professionally.
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2007
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Mentoring can be a formal or informal relationship. It has long been used in academia to help socialize and acclimate students to professional practice, but it is also important to professional organizations. The essence of any organization is its membership, and it must nurture and engage new members in order to grow and thrive.
Many opportunities exist for mentoring within ARHP:
- Research and Publishing: For new investigators, ARHP provides research mentoring opportunities at the ARHP Annual Scientific Meetings, grant pre-reviews for members applying for Arthritis Foundation Health Professional Awards, and opportunities to publish research findings in our esteemed journal, Arthritis Care & Research. There are also opportunities for research funding to help new investigators. Through the REF, members can apply for research awards such as the Health Professional New Investigator Award, Health Professional Student Research Preceptorship Award, and the Graduate Student Achievement Award;
- Student Membership and Awards: ARHP members can encourage their students to join ARHP as a student member. Student membership in ARHP exposes health professional students to the many benefits of inter-professional collaboration and outstanding educational programs for rheumatology health professionals. Students are also eligible for ARHP’s Graduate Student Achievement Award;
- Legislative Advocacy: The ACR Legislative Action Center and Advocates for Arthritis Program provide tools for members to become more effective advocates for their patients and their professional practice;
- List Serves: ARHP has launched four list serves to facilitate networking and mentoring among our members for the clinical, research, pediatric, and rehabilitation communities; and
- Volunteer Opportunities: There are many opportunities for volunteering within ARHP, and ARHP provides mentoring for new volunteer members.
As an ARHP member, you can convey to other colleagues the benefits of membership in the premier organization for rheumatology health professionals. You also have many opportunities to share your knowledge and expertise within our organization.
You may be hesitant to add one more commitment to your already demanding schedule. However, we rheumatology health professionals have a responsibility to pass on not only our knowledge, but our passion and commitment to improving health outcomes and quality of life for our patients. If not us, who will mentor the next generation of rheumatology health professionals?
Karen Kerr is president of ARHP and a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Contact her via e-mail at [email protected].