Recognizing that various types of mentors and mentorship are needed over the four years of residency training, HROP has implemented a two-tiered system of mentorship that aims to give residents access to guidance that is appropriate to their level of training while simultaneously providing a framework by which residents can add additional mentors and resources that suit their needs over time.
The formal mentorship program consists of two components: first-year mentors and third-year advisors.
First-year mentors: Each new resident is assigned a junior faculty mentor to aid with the transition from internship to radiation oncology residency. Initial pairings are made during the first month of residency. This relationship is intended to give residents access to the expertise and experience of a faculty member whose focus is wholly on the development of the resident. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet in person multiple times throughout the year to discuss the transition to radiation oncology and to address any questions or concerns that may arise during this period. Many residents find this relationship to be a lasting and important part of their training and continue to meet with their faculty mentor throughout their residency training for guidance and advice.
Third-year advisors: During the second year of residency, each resident is also assigned a senior faculty advisor to assist the resident with design of their research year, including the selection of potential research projects. As part of this advising process, advisors will aid the resident in identifying appropriate research mentors both within and beyond HROP, will oversee the creation a brief research proposal and, as this advisor is familiar with the resident’s “portfolio,” will serve as a guide to the resident in their eventual job search. For those residents with an expressed interest in the Holman Pathway, a physician-scientist will be assigned to advise them with their research and career goals.
In addition to the formal mentorship and advising programs offered at HROP, residents are encouraged to pursue their own unofficial mentoring relationships, taking advantage of the wealth of faculty both in the training program and within the greater Harvard Medical School institution. Residents frequently acquire multiple mentors and mentoring relationships during their four years of training, many of which develop into vital and productive professional relationships.