The COMmunicator 2019-20 Vol. 1 | Page 3

Sometimes the idea is there all along, seemingly directionless, like a butterfly floating back and forth across your mind. At some point it lands, standing still enough to allow the idea to develop, grow and metamorphose into something significant. COM’s Mentoring program was one such idea that has existed in theory since the college’s inception, but as an idea was intangible and illusive. It seems fortuitous, with UNE COM celebrating 40 years at the Gala last June, that there would exist opportunity for continued growth and transformation involving our extraordinary alumni. An increase in the number of COM graduates over the years means more of our COM family span across the country. Many choose to practice in Maine and New England, however, an abundant number of alumni find themselves far away from their collegiate home, making it difficult to be fully engaged with their alma mater. Fortunately, long-distance relationships with alumni and friends have developed over time as the Clinical Education Department facilitates 3rd and 4th year rotations for our COM students, and their eventual residencies. The mentoring of our students has been happening for years in the form of preceptorships, clerkships and internships, and last year the COM Office of Recruitment, Student & Alumni Services decided to bring new focus and purpose to mentoring within COM.

The first pilot test occurred last summer at a Mentor Networking event. Twenty-five local physicians met with thirty-five first-year students. The objective was for physicians to share their experiences of being a physician in the real world, and for students to ask questions related to becoming a physician. At the end of the event, students were matched with a physician mentor. Throughout the program, 58% of mentors/mentees said that they connected more than once.

Mentoring at


John-Paul Bettencourt, DO '12 and Bryar Hansen, COM '22 dialogue during the Mentor Networking event

by Marly Solebello, MEd