The Importance of Mentorship in Oncology

On International Women’s Day, Sonali M. Smith, MD, Elwood V. Jensen Professorship of Medicine and chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology at The University of Chicago Medicine, highlighted the importance of mentorship in the field of oncology.

Smith reflected on her journey in medicine, noting that her initial perception of a mentor was someone who would guide her in her career and eventually pass the torch to her. However, she now sees mentorship as a collaborative effort. She emphasized that individuals must take ownership of their own career paths and actively seek out mentors who can provide valuable expertise and support.

According to Smith, mentorship is not limited to one individual. She emphasized the benefits of having a team of mentors with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. These mentors can offer guidance, provide networking opportunities, and celebrate one’s achievements. Smith described mentorship as a community that works together to promote growth and success.

In conclusion, Smith highlighted the reciprocal nature of mentorship, noting that she has learned just as much from her mentees as they have learned from her. This perspective on mentorship emphasizes the importance of collaboration and mutual learning in the field of oncology.