Welcome to the Mentoring Resources Web Site
'The first thing I've got to do,' said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood, 'is to grow to my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.' It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea how to set about it.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Getting started in academia can be likened to Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole. You will encounter new and sometimes decidedly odd characters; you will be confused sometimes about which way is up; you will sometimes wish that achieving your career goals was as simple as nibbling on a bit of cake. We believe that the key to successfully navigating this wonderland is mentorship. Effective mentoring can mean the difference between reaching independence and missing the mark. This Web site (sponsored by the Institute for Clinical Research Education at the University of Pittsburgh) serves as a knowledge base and provides resources for mentees and mentors at every stage. Whether you are just getting started or are looking for ways to get more out of the mentoring relationship, you will find resources to help you on your way. We explore topics such as deciding on the right mentoring model, communicating effectively, giving and receiving feedback, and finding strategies for problem solving.
Feel free to read our articles (choose a topic from the menu on the left). We have many of the tools needed to enhance your mentoring experience whether you are a mentor or mentee.
'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' 'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. 'I don't much care where—' said Alice. 'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one CAN'T believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Melissa McNeil, MD, MPH, aka Missy, is a woman who wears many hats. She is at once Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Associate Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine; Director, Women's Health Services; Chief, Section of Women's Health; and Program Director, Pittsburgh Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Faculty Development Program—and these are just some of her positions. But Missy is a lot more than a long list of titles. She is an educator, mentor, clinician, and friend who brings to everything she does not only intelligence and talent but also enthusiasm, grace, and humanity. Whether mentoring (formally or informally) or teaching medical students, residents, fellows, or faculty, Missy is a force of nature, educating and nurturing those around her.
Here is what some of the folks who have worked with Missy have to say:
Missy McNeil has always helped me figure out how to make anything I am working on happen. No matter how "out there" the idea, she is always available to help me figure out how to make it succeed.
Rachel Hess, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine
Missy has the unique ability to make you feel like you and your concerns are the utmost priority, and she stops her world in a heartbeat to look at you, listen to you, empathize with you, strategize with you, support you, and mentor you. For the busiest woman that I have ever known (a woman who has both hands in too many pots to count) to always have a hand out for you—that is quite extraordinary.
Janine Frank, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
Missy has an amazing ability to understand her mentees' unique personalities and recognize their strengths and potential passions, often before the mentee does. With her insight and wisdom, she has positioned me, on more than one occasion, in the right place at the right time. Moreover, she offers unconditional support and encouragement—true to her self-proclaimed title of Mother Hen!
Sonya Borrero, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine
I think one of the elements that makes Missy such a wonderful mentor is that she is concerned not only about her mentees' career development but also about their well-being and wholeness. She is not intrusive or opinionated. She gently offers insights and suggestions while clearly communicating respect for our decisions and desires. She communicates a method of balancing home and career in a manner that attempts to minimize negative impacts in either arena—where she can, she helps us protect our time and boundaries. Missy is particularly gifted in providing mentees advice on how to navigate the political aspects of our career interactions. She has incredible savvy regarding interpersonal communication and relationships, and her advice is almost always highly effective in helping us sidestep or extricate ourselves from a political or interactional mess. Although very busy and mentor to many, she makes herself available and accessible and is always generous with her time and support. She is definitely someone I see as a role model, an advocate, and a friend. Having Missy as a mentor has been a blessing for which I am exceptionally grateful.
Judy Chang, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology