AO Access Mentoring Program facilitates high-value connections between mentors and mentees

AO Access

The AO—along with other leading organizations, including the Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)—recognizes the value of formal mentoring programs in facilitating encounters between and matching mentors and mentees who might not otherwise meet.

These organizations’ mentoring and leadership development programs help to create networks and build senior leadership competencies. They can provide important educational advice that participants don’t get elsewhere, addressing a host of relevant topics such as how to communicate authentically and how to access resources and improve work-related well-being and self-esteem. In today’s world, the challenge is not only being a good surgeon but also a human being with the skills to perform in a world where communication, leadership, empathy, people empowerment, and other skills are increasingly important.

The AO Access Mentoring Program is popular and in high demand, reflecting the need to offer mentoring more broadly across the AO which can lead to the AO’s future success. Can you, as an individual member, take an active role in the AO’s future success?

Matthew Allen

“The mentorship program is a really critical component of developing the sort of sustainable and really inclusive environment of development of faculty, identification, and retention of talent that is so critical to the future success of the AO.”

Matthew Allen, AO Access Officer and Faculty Selection Task Force lead

The AO Access Mentoring Program—particularly its developmental mentorship focus—provides critical and competitive advantages, supporting participants in finding and growing their unique value propositions. Mentorship is a crucial tool for developing the competencies—beyond clinical competencies—to excel professionally.

Most mentorship programs primarily promote encounters and dialogues on career expectations, sometimes with face-to-face meetings at their annual meetings. The AO Access Mentorship Program is a truly formalized, 6-months structured program based on learning modules that focus on developing nonclinical competencies. It provides critical and competitive advantages, supporting participants in finding and growing their unique value propositions. Mentorship is a crucial tool for developing the competencies—beyond clinical competencies—to excel professionally.

To date, almost 2,000 learners, faculty, and leaders across all divisions have interacted and contributed to AO Access advancing participants’ professional development, career, and academic progress. Through its collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, the AO Access Journey provides comprehensive and continuous online learning modules to facilitate learning, leveraging, and leading.