I think it is very important to find a good mentor throughout your career in medicine. This can be your parent, a religious leader, an older sibling, a faculty member, a spouse, a friend, a physician, or anyone that has an interest in your career and personal growth.
In my opinion, a mentor whose opinion you value the most, will benefit you the most. So here are my guidelines to choosing a good mentor:
1) Someone whose opinion matters to you.
2) Someone who has your best interest.
3) Someone whose comments or criticism you will not be offended by. (Even if you are offended, choose someone whose relationship is worthwhile to accept criticism and make necessary changes.)
4) Someone whose opinion you trust.
5) Someone who will spend their time investing in you.
Overall, a good mentor is an asset to you as is a great coach to any of your athletic teams. If you are lucky enough to find a mentor, or already have one, you should feel very blessed. If not, it is not too late to get one. Even if you are already a practicing physician, you would always benefit from having a mentor. You can ask a faculty member or co-worker if they would like to be your mentor. To apply, simply submit your CV, and a letter of request if you want to be formal, or a nice sit-down conversation can also be beneficial.
A mentor can direct you in the right direction, and collaborate with you in brainstorming all of the choices when it comes to decision making. A good mentor is always an excellent investment.