Many Canadian dental schools offer mentorship programs for dental students and practising dental professionals. Mentorship may be defined as a personal relationship in which a more experienced and knowledgeable person (the mentor) helps a less experienced person (the mentee) benefit from their experience and knowledge. Mentorship opportunities can be a valuable resource to help those new to the dental profession in Canada, either as an internationally trained dentist or recent graduate.
Mentorship has been recognized as a valuable strategy for professional growth and leadership in health professions. Formal mentorship programs, such as the ones offered in dentistry, are becoming increasingly popular in institutions educating health care professionals and in workplaces.
Common themes in dental mentorship programs include:
- Career guidance
- Learning about being an associate versus an owner
- Coaching in practice management
Benefits of participating in a mentorship program may include:
- Expanded perspectives, deepened self-knowledge and self-understanding through shared experiences with a trusted colleague
- Support and guidance during integration into clinical practice
- Professional socialization; ability to acquire cultural capital and learn common culturally appropriate workplace practices alongside a mentor and colleague
- Access to an informed second opinion, aids critical thinking
- Exposure to additional resources and professional networks
Below are examples of the educational institutions that offer dental mentorship programs across the country (See Table 2). Mentorship opportunities may also be offered more directly through the dental practice you pursue.
Table 1: Dental mentorship programs by province
|British Columbia||BC Dental Association - Member Benefits *||BCDA|
|Alberta||University of Alberta||Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry|
|Manitoba||University of Manitoba||Faculty of Dentistry|
|Ontario||University of Western Ontario||Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry|
|Québec||Ordre des dentistes du Québec||Ordre des dentistes du Québec|
|Nova Scotia||Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Dental Association||Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry|
* Accessing the mentorship program is only available through the BCDA Member Portal.