By Lindsay Gallagher, VMD
I have seen a wide range of mentorship in my short veterinary career. Some mentors can be damn near traumatic, and potentially do more harm than good. Other mentors have good intentions and do a good job. They help you get by, but they are good, not great. But there are some phenomenal mentors who stand head and shoulders above the rest. These truly great mentors not only help you gain knowledge and skill, they touch your heart and empower your spirit. When I was working with a great mentor, not only did I work harder than ever, I was way happier about doing it – it was an incredible feeling! If you want to do more than just “get by,” you need some great mentors in your corner.
So I knew who my great mentors were, but if I wanted to find others like them, and be more like them myself, I needed to figure out what made them great. So I sat down and made a list of my greatest mentors, and the qualities and techniques that made each of them great. Patterns and common threads began to emerg. When I boiled it down, I saw the core of a great mentor, and it felt like unearthing a valuable treasure. Of course, I wanted to share this treasure with my fellow Uncharted members! My mic drop includes excerpts from a chapter of my personal mentorship story, which begins with me drowning in the Emergency Ocean.
Everyone can be a mentor to someone else, whether they are a vet working next to a new grad, or an experienced tech training a new hire, or one Uncharted member offering advice to another. A rising tide lifts all ships – the better mentors we all are to each other, the better our profession will be as a result. I hoped that by telling my story, people would see the power of a great mentor, as I share how mine helped me rise up from the deep dark depths, and shake off the weight pulling me down. I also hope that my mic drop gives others a clearer picture of what makes a great mentor, so they they will know one when they see one, and so they will be one to someone else.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Unchartedvet.com editorial team.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Lindsay Gallagher is Penn Vet graduate with a passion for behavior. She loves meeting new people, traveling to new places (especially national parks, or any spontaneous road trip), and learning new things (like playing the guitar, juggling, and improv comedy). If she was a dog, she would be a Jack Russel terrier – she's short, spunky, and bursting with energy. Having “little dog syndrome” means she might look small, but she's not afraid to go after her big goals, no matter what.