Kirang Patel, MD, Communications Liaison on the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Resident and Fellow Section Executive Committee, contributed this post.

Currently, I am Chief Radiology Resident at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and will be transitioning into my fellowship in a few months. An important aspect of my journey from residency into fellowship and beyond is mentorship. Mentors are invaluable, and mentorship is indispensable for reaching personal and professional goals. I can say that with confidence, as my experience with the ACR Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) Transition Mentorship Program has truly been a success.

When I joined the RLI Kickstart Your Career Program, I had the option to sign up for the Transition Mentorship Program. I opted in, and I’m so thankful I did! I remember receiving an email where I was initially introduced to Christie Lincoln, MD, who would be my mentor over the course of a year. Dr. Lincoln is a neuroradiologist and tenured Associate Professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. As a fellow Texan who is also interested in neuroradiology, I thought this was a great match. It also turns out that we both had already been following each other on Twitter, so I was really excited to meet her officially, even if it was virtual.

Over the course of the year, Dr. Lincoln and I had virtual meetings where we got to know one another on a personal level, discussed my short- and long-term goals and addressed any questions I had relating to topics such as fellowship, jobs and leadership skills. Not only did she take genuine interest in my development, she also helped with my personal growth by encouraging me to pursue various opportunities.

I highly recommend taking advantage of the mentorship programs that are available to you, whether they’re within your residency program, chapter or through opportunities like RLI Kickstart. Mentorships are a great way get a head start on your career. I believe it’s absolutely critical for trainees to have the opportunity to meet and network with others who can share real experiences and invaluable advice to help ensure that we have the greatest opportunity for success for our future.

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