Saturday, May 10, 2008

Anatomy of a Mentor

I had a lot of great mentors when I was in medical school, and each of them would warrant at least one post here. Medicine truly is the noblest of all professions, and most teachers of this great art do so because of an overpowering sense of responsibility.

Let me tell you about one of my favorites - Dr. Noel Guison.

I was under his tutelage for two years. The reason would be obvious once you have known everything about my storied medical school experience.

He was a professional academic. It would be apparent at first glance that he prepares for his lectures meticulously. Too bad that the subject matter was, in itself, sleep-inducing; to this day, I have yet to see an Anatomy book that could not bring me to sleep.

Technology is a big component of his knowledge delivery system. I was impressed by the quality of his slideshows. I was more impressed by the computer lab and how he and other teachers would try to use technology to augment our knowledge from dissection.

He is very approachable, but he still maintains a proper distance that distinguishes him from his students. This is a tricky thing to do - most would create barriers that alienate most of their students; the opposite would be to hang out with them as buddies. It is doubly important for teachers, in any field or endeavor, to still remember the spirit of delicadeza nowadays especially since we hear about it less and less.

Continuing that line of thinking, he has impeccable integrity above all. Even when I was in a better position to talk to him, he emphasized that beyond everything else, my numerical performance in exams would be the sole determinant of my final grade. He would frown on the practice of some unscrupulous teachers to hold review classes only to a select few on the fallacious premise of glory for all.

I hope that in the future, all teachers would think about integrity first.

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