What Are the Most Important Characteristics of a Mentor-Mentee Relationship?

3 Women's Professional Staff Association members field this question


Q: In your experience, what are the most important characteristics of a mentor-mentee relationship?

Amy Merlino, MD: “I’m lucky in that I have had and continue to have many people I consider mentors. Some of the important characteristics for me include honesty, integrity and confidentiality. Having trusted mentors to run crazy ideas by, to be thought partners, to help direct interpersonal vs. organizational issues and to provide support and reminders that I am doing a good job …”


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Dr. Merlino is an Ob/Gyn and Enterprise Chief Medical Information Officer.

Christine Moravec, PhD: “Honesty, coupled with support and encouragement. My mentors were never afraid to tell me if they felt I was going down the wrong path, not putting in enough time, not taking a hard look at the data etc…They were also very encouraging when I succeeded, but what I thank them for are the times they told me something that was probably not easy to say. It’s important that we are able to bring honesty to the relationship with our trainees, being supportive but always honest, and not sugar coating our advice…”

Dr. Moravec is a molecular cardiologist and serves as Director of Research Education and Training and Assistant Dean for Basic Science Education in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.


Purva Grover, MD: “Dr. Rick Parker at Hillcrest has been a great mentor to me and others. Time is such a precious commodity and I am amazed he always manages to make time to talk and meet with me. Listening, being present and giving honest feedback along with an opportunity to observe is the biggest gift a mentee can get. As a mentee it is my responsibility to follow up and follow through. It is equally important pay it forward as we grow. True leadership is about growing leaders around you.”

Dr. Grover is the Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Pediatric Emergency Departments.

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