Many Canadian dental schools offer mentorship programs for dental students and practising dental professionals. Mentorship may be defined as a personal relationship in which a more experienced and knowledgeable person (the mentor) helps a less experienced person (the mentee) benefit from their experience and knowledge.  Mentorship opportunities can be a valuable resource to help those new to the dental profession in Canada, either as an internationally trained dentist or recent graduate.

Mentorship has been recognized as a valuable strategy for professional growth and leadership in health professions. Formal mentorship programs, such as the ones offered in dentistry, are becoming increasingly popular in institutions educating health care professionals and in workplaces.

Common themes in dental mentorship programs include:

  • Career guidance
  • Learning about being an associate versus an owner
  • Coaching in practice management

Benefits of participating in a mentorship program may include:

  • Expanded perspectives, deepened self-knowledge and self-understanding through shared experiences with a trusted colleague
  • Support and guidance during integration into clinical practice
  • Professional socialization; ability to acquire cultural capital and learn common culturally appropriate workplace practices alongside a mentor and colleague
  • Access to an informed second opinion, aids critical thinking
  • Exposure to additional resources and professional networks

Below are examples of the educational institutions that offer dental mentorship programs across the country (See Table 2).  Mentorship opportunities may also be offered more directly through the dental practice you pursue.

Table 1: Dental mentorship programs by province

Province Institution Website
British Columbia University of British Columbia UBC Dentistry
Alberta University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Manitoba University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry
Ontario University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
Québec Ordre des dentistes du Québec Ordre des dentistes du Québec
Nova Scotia Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Dental Association Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry