Mentors are invaluable to personal and professional growth – and the field of medicine and retina is no exception.
However, finding the right mentor is not always a straightforward process and younger retinal specialists may not have easy access to the right advice and guidance to help them fully develop their personal and professional capacities.
With this in mind, and as part of its ambitious 2025 Road Map, EURETINA has launched a dedicated mentorship programme, sponsored by Roche and overseen by Executive Board members Anat Loewenstein and Ramin Tadayoni.
The programme will support six young retina specialists each year, from countries where retina science is both academically developed and developing. The mentor will support participants through virtual monthly sessions, networking opportunities and guidance on their retina careers.
“We are most grateful to Roche for supporting this initiative. The idea is to assist and nurture the career development of up-and-coming retinal specialists from all over the world,” explained Anat Loewenstein. “We want to identify promising retinal specialists and provide them with support and guidance early in their career when we often look and need mentors to help us develop professionally.”
Over the course of the one-year programme, the mentor and mentee will meet virtually at least once a month to discuss priorities and set goals.
“We already have an excellent panel of mentors in place, who are renowned experts in their field and who are eager to share their knowledge and experience to help their younger colleagues navigate the paths of career development,” said Dr Loewenstein.
The mentor will be on hand to assist the young retina specialist to orient their choices and assist with a broad range of career-related issues, she said.
“This can be anything from CV preparation, job applications and interview techniques to setting research goals, organizational skills and personal development. The mentor will also provide the lead on getting published in the peer-reviewed literature and we will see some concrete outcomes from that with academic papers published as part of the programme,” she said.
In addition to individual monthly meetings between mentors and mentees, the programme will also organize a meeting of the whole group during the year.
“This will provide the opportunity for networking and interaction and sharing of best-practices. We also plan to include a keynote lecture from an invited speaker relating to the themes of personal and professional development,” said Dr Loewenstein.
The key goal, as Dr Loewenstein sees it, is to create a platform that will benefit all the participants through enhanced collaboration and networking.
“When you bring talented young retinal specialists together it creates a dynamic force and energy. With the right leadership and direction of an experienced mentor, it can really generate a lot of positive activity. It is important for EURETINA to foster and facilitate that type of collaboration – it benefits our younger colleagues but also the mentors and the wider retinal field as well,” she said.
Further information on the EURETINA mentorship programme is available here.