“Books as mentors” – January 2014 Book Review

I’m excited to announce a new feature of the ICENet blog – a monthly book review.  The December post on “must reads” for CEs sparked a little debate and a lot of discussion on Twitter.  Apparently, CEs are bibliophiles.

Let me introduce the Book Review editor, Felix Ankel.  Felix is an academic emergency physician and CE associated with the University of Minnesota.  Currently, he is the Vice President and Executive Director of Health Professional Education, HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research.

Check out the book review each month! Follow Felix on Twitter: (@felixankel)

Mentors  have an important role in professional advancement.  The classic description of a mentor is that of a “person” who guides and supports a protégé through his or her journey to ultimate success. Professional success through mentorship involves complex chemistry and connections.

I suggest to you that books can serve a mentoring function as well. Stephen King describes how reading “Lord of the Flies” profoundly changed his life. Many Clinician Educators can also describe one or two books that have had an influence on them.  Research suggests that reading novels changes brain chemistry and connections. Books given as gifts can facilitate relationships and discussions between teachers and learners.

As I reflect on the last twenty years as a CE, I remember the mentors who have shown me the way.  I also remember books that have impacted me written by authors such Donella Meadows, Michael Porter, Clayton Christensen, Suzanne Gordon, Daniel Pink, Brenda Zimmerman, Peter Senge, Ichiro Kawachi, Gary Klein, Marcia Angell, Jerome Groopman, and Atul Gawande. Book discussions are a great way to facilitate communities of practice for Clinician Educators.

Image courtesy of Creative Commons