Reverse Mentorship with Dr. Thomas Fekete
18 min

Thomas Fekete, MD, is the Thomas M. Durant Professor & Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Dr. Fekete is a professor of Microbiology and Immunology. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, a fellow and master of the American College of Physicians and Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He serves as the Chair of the Board of the IDSA Foundation and Chair of the Board of College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He is the recipient of serveral teaching honors at Temple including the Lindback Award, Golden Apple Teaching Award, Russell and Pearl Moses Teaching Award, Outstanding Senior Educator Award, and Temple Great Teacher Award.

There is such a thing as reverse mentorship. And today, Dr. Thomas Fekete teaches us how we can use what we don't want to guide us toward what we do. While we are in pursuit of top mentors to help guide us towards excellence and success, Dr. Fekete reminds us to pay attention to those we might not want to learn from, too. If we come across someone we feel is a bad role model or teacher, we should observe that. Take notes, study it, and self-reflect on why we don’t want to follow that particular path. One day we may find ourselves in the position of being mentors and educators—and we can prevent mistakes and shortcomings by observing mentorship from all angles.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. It’s important to forgive yourself. Don’t aim for perfection, aim to find yourself. 2. Pay attention to ‘reverse mentorship’. Pay attention to who or what you don’t like, and learn from that to see what you want to avoid. 3. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, being wrong is a gift. We learn more from mistakes than we do from being right all the time.

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