Mentoring New Associates

Københavns Universitet, Stordyrshospitalet tåstrup

Mentorship is crucial to the success of veterinarians just starting their careers. Joining a new practice as an associate veterinarian can be overwhelming and difficult as young doctors learn the ropes at a clinic, take on daily tasks while treating patients, and work with new teammates. However, by taking an associate under your wing and setting appropriate expectations, you can set them up for success.


Just about anyone at the practice can be a mentor. The obvious choice might be the most senior veterinarian, but even a practice manager or less senior doctor can also set up a program with a new associate that provides support, standards, and a system to help them meet their goals.


Don’t know how to begin? Start by establishing a written mentoring agreement that includes the following elements:

  • Structure - what you and the new associate want the mentoring relationship to look like
  • Schedule - set weekly meetings
  • Goals – think immediate and long term: 3 months, 1 year, and 3 years
  • Areas of focus - clinical skills, communication, leadership, problem solving, comprehensive treatment planning, pain management and anesthesia, etc.
  • Action plans - for personal and professional goals
  • Roadblocks – determine obstacles and how to proactively overcome them


It’s been my professional experience that mentorships are a win-win for both the mentor and mentee. If you have questions about getting a program started, or if you’d like to talk about using our consulting and recruiting services, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to explaining how my team has earned a 93% success rate in bringing quality candidates to our clients within the first 90 days of the recruitment process.