President's Column 10/19/06
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Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor
Through the ACPM Mentorship Database
Neal Kohatsu, MD, MPH, FACPM
October 19, 2006

As a medical student or resident, have you wondered what it will be like to actually practice preventive medicine? Do you need advice on how to find a job that matches your skills and interests? Do you wonder about the realities of different settings—governmental public health, health care, academia, and others? If you had questions such as these or know someone who might, I’d like to highlight an ACPM member service that is underutilized—the Mentorship Database. Any ACPM member, regardless of membership level, may use the service, but medical students and residents may find it particularly useful. The Mentorship Database enables a member to access a list of College volunteers who have agreed to serve as a mentor. Within the database, there are many ACPM Fellows with considerable experience in the field who would be delighted to help individuals, just starting out, to achieve their personal and professional goals in preventive medicine.

Mentorship doesn’t have to occur through face-to-face meetings although this is often ideal, where possible. E-mail and phone contact can also be very effective. What is important is finding a good match between the individual and the mentor with respect to expectations of the mentorship relationship.

If you are early in your preventive medicine career, or still considering a career in preventive medicine, I encourage you to take advantage of the Mentorship Database. If you are further along in your career, please consider serving as an ACPM mentor. I’m sure you will find it to be a rewarding experience.

Individuals interested in accessing the Mentorship Database simply have to navigate to the Members Only section of the ACPM website ( Also, those willing to serve as mentors may also sign up in the same area. A brief survey is posted at the site for evaluation of the program. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Edwards at


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