This handbook was written by the AHA Early Career Investigator/Clinician Task Force, in recognition of the importance of the mentor-protégé relationship, especially for individuals early their careers. Based on experiences from AHA events including the Epidemiology Ten-Day Seminar and Hypertension summer school, the AHA Mentoring handbook focuses on general and specific aspects of the mentor-protégé relationship, concerns for clinical science, basic science, population sciences, and women and minorities in the areas of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
The handbook begins by describing the mentor-protégé relationship and also explains the emotional bond inherent in the mentoring relationship and the differences between a mentor and an advisor. It also provides advice for how to choose an appropriate mentor, someone who a protégé can respect and trust, and someone who can be accessible to their needs and be their advocate in the University and beyond.
Tips and guidelines for both the mentors and protégés are provided to aid in creating an open, honest and productive relationship. The handbook discusses the protégé's responsibilities to determine their own career goals and aspirations, and responsibilities to work hard, respect their mentor’s time and obligations, and accept feedback and criticism in order to improve.
The handbook describes a good mentor as one who is aware of the protégé’s long-term career and personal goals, assisting them in achieving these goals, while providing appropriate and useful feedback on skills, successes and failures.
The handbook provides specialized advice for those pursuing research in the fields of basic, clinical and population-based science. Each section discusses special concerns for the mentor, protégé and institution within the research field, as well as considerations for career advancement, opportunities and pitfalls one may encounter.