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Washington State Dental Association

Top Six Myths About The Mentor Program

Take a minute to think back to when you were in dental school. If you didn’t have a mentor, would having one have helped you? If you did have a mentor, are you ready to pay that experience forward? Students at the UWSoD need you — your experience, your knowledge, and even your shoulder — best of all, it's not hard to do. Sign up here

Still need convincing? Here are six top myths about being a mentor:

1. Being a mentor takes a lot of time · FALSE!
There’s a reception on Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 6-8:30, at the Burke Museum on the UW campus (fun! adult beverages! food! entertainment!). Other than that, you and your mentee (possibly not a real word) get to choose the level of engagement. Most students and their mentors communicate via email and phone. It’s up to you. RSVP for the Mentor Reception here

2. You have to be a UW Grad to participate · FALSE!
You only have to be licensed (or have been licensed — retired dentists are welcome!) to practice in Washington state.

3. You have to live in the greater Seattle area · FALSE!
Mentors have fostered great relationships with UWSoD students from all over the state. This is one time when
“phoning it in” is perfectly acceptable.

4. I wouldn’t make a good mentor · FALSE!
Half the battle is getting to the table. These kids are hungry for a little guidance, reassurance and the expertise your time in the real world can offer. Don’t sell yourself short.

5. There’s no benefit to being a mentor · FALSE!
Mentors derive all kinds of benefits from the program. Most say it gives them a renewed sense of vigor about their practice. And, it’s a great way to meet a potential Associate. Think ahead. Give back.

6. The guys have it all wrapped up · FALSE!
There are nearly as many women as men in dental school today. They need your guidance, your smarts and most of all, your perspective. Girl power!

The truth is, it’s fun — and UW Dental Students need your expertise

You could say that Dr. Gary Heyamoto’s experience with the Mentor Program was solid: he ended up hiring one of the students he mentored to be an Associate in his practice. With the program since its inception, Heyamoto describes his experience helping young dentists as "wonderful," and encourages practicing dentists to give back and support future dentists. Heyamoto says that in his role as mentor, he helped students obtain extracted teeth, talked shop, and even discussed personal issues. The beauty of the program is that participants get to choose what level of involvement they’d like to have. Kainoa Trotter, Director of Membership and Communications for the WSDA explains, “Becoming a mentor doesn’t have to involve a huge time commitment — some communicate only via email and have just one face-to-face meeting a year, others interact more frequently — there are no set rules.”

Additionally, you needn’t have graduated from the UWSoD to participate, all WSDA members are welcome. And, geography doesn’t have to be a deciding factor — mentors and students routinely communicate via email and phone. 

Become a mentor. Sign up for the program here. Have questions? Contact Laura Rohlman at, or at 800-448-3368. The mentor reception will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 6-8:30, at the Burke Museum, on the UW campus.

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