The AVMA Future Leaders inaugural group has done great things over the past year, many of which will culminate at the AVMA Convention in San Diego. One of the ongoing initiatives is the development of an innovative mentoring program. “Compass,” the pilot mentoring program designed to help recent graduates find their direction within the profession, will be introduced in Connecticut beginning with a kick-off event October 24, 2012. The program was developed in collaboration with the AVMA and the state veterinary medical associations in Alabama, Connecticut, and Indiana. The program is intended to reach out to veterinarians within 5 years of graduation. The AVMA and state veterinary medical associations realize the importance of recent graduates to the profession. Both groups understand the unique struggles of these veterinarians and are eager to provide a valuable career development experience.
Compass is a realization of the priority organized veterinary medicine, at all levels, places on new graduates. This program will provide guidance and support to those just beginning in our profession. There will be round-table discussions on pertinent issues such as: work-life balance, debt issues, and career paths during the initial kick-off event. These round-table discussions are just the beginning. Experienced veterinarians will be on-hand to meet with recent graduates. Based on their interactions at the event, recent graduates will have the opportunity to pair up with one of the experienced veterinarians to serve as a mentor. Once matched, the Compass program will provide ongoing support to the mentors and mentees over the next year to encourage building a strong relationship.
Metrics for success have been determined to see if this is a model that can be utilized for other programs in the future. Those involved will be surveyed regularly so that improvements can also be made to the program. It is hoped that a successful program in Connecticut will eventually allow expansion to other states throughout the country.