Mentor Resources

2015-01-25 11.44.36 (1)Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else. We all have a need for insight that is outside of our normal life and educational experience. The power of mentoring is that it creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for collaboration, goal achievement and problem-solving.

quote from the University of South Carolina CMCIS

Being a mentor is a difficult responsibility.  There are many areas of uncertainty and ambiguity in guiding your mentees along their journey towards medical school.  Here we will attempt to give you the tools necessary to be the best possible mentor and teacher to your pre-medical student mentee.


How can I be a good mentor? What qualities should I aspire to?

So what makes a good mentor?  See the Dr. Sakai Being a Mentor ppt presentation, but in summary good mentors:

1.Make it about you.

2.Can reassure.

3.Can inspire.

4.Balance freedom and guidance.

5.Provide specific feedback.

6.Are also interested in your personal and professional growth.

What are some common questions I may encounter as a mentor?

Academics and the Application Process

  • What classes do I have to take to get into medical school?
  • What kind of grades do I need?
  • Do I have to major in a science to apply for medical school?
  • What if I’m not doing as well as I thought I would in my classes?
  • Should I take ____ class being taught by Professor ____?
    • UH Manoa publishes professor evaluations (like, but “official”) at :
  • When should I apply to medical school? How many schools did you apply to?
  • Is it okay to take time off between graduating from undergrad and medical school?
  • See the “Applications” tab under mentee resources of the MSMP Website


  • What is the MCAT?
  • What score do I need on the MCAT to get into medical school?
  • Are there test-prep classes I can take?
  • In Hawaii, only Kaplan offers in-person test prep courses.
  • To help with funding, the Associated Students of University of Hawaii (ASUH) offers a ASUH Test Prep Scholarship that awards up to $750. If student is in the Honors Program, they also offer an Honors Program Test Prep Scholarship that provides full coverage for a Kaplan course of their choice. If students ask about the MCAT 2015, please redirect them to the UH Manoa Pre-Health Advising Center (PAC). Also, MSMP will be holding a seminar about it later this year.
  • Visit our MCAT page for more information


  • What type of extracurricular activities should I look for?
  • Do I need to have medically-related experiences?
  • Do I need to do research to get into medical school?
  • See the MSMP Pulse from December 2015


  • What is your daily schedule like?
  • What is PBL? Do you enjoy it?
  • What made you decide to apply for/attend JABSOM?
  • Best to speak from your experience


What if my mentee asks me a question I don’t know how to answer? Where can I direct them? Where can I educate myself as a mentor?

Remember you are the guide, not the driver:

Your job as a mentor is not to act as a decision maker for your mentee.  While you can act as a guide you should not be directing your mentee on exactly what to do at each step of their journey. You can facilitate a discussion to explore their values and goals. You can also inform them of your experiences and share your opinions regarding what may need to be done in order to realize their goals. In doing so help you can them to come to their own educated and informed decisions or conclusions.

Academic Advising Centers

First of all, please see our FAQ on academic/professional advising centers.  Most if not all of the major universities in Hawaii will have an advising center or contact person.  If not, the UHM premedical advising resources are available to ALL students of Hawaii, not only those students attending the University of Hawaii.

Mentee Resources on MSMP site:

MSMP works hard to maintain an up-to-date list of resources for mentees.  The left sidebar of our website is dedicated fully to mentee resources.  Through our FAQ format, we provide a number of links, useful files and advice from mentors regarding various subjects in the pre-medical journey.

We also provide a regular advice column titled the MSMP Pulse.  This column offers advice from MSMP Board members regarding various topics in the medical school application process.

Lastly, mentees are also free to pose questions to the MSMP board directly through email ( or through our public MSMP forum found at the top navigation bar of our website.


What are some “good” ways to engage with my mentee? What if my mentee is unresponsive?

Some ways to talk with your mentee are to:

  1. Email
  2. Phone call/video call
  3. Meet in person (required 1 time per year)
    • Meet at the school for a formal meeting
    • Meet for lunch or a fun casual outing
    • Take your mentee to clinic or lab (with permission of the proper supervisors of course)

Mentees are encouraged to reach out to their mentors at least once per month.  If your mentee becomes MIA, consider trying the following:

  • Send them an email, text or call them to see how they are doing.  While it is their responsibility to contact you, it is nice to reach out as well.  Some mentees may be nervous, shy or may be undergoing some difficulties in their lives.
  • Alert MSMP! We can reach out to your mentee as well.
  • Ask for a new mentee: we always have a waitlist of eager mentees.  If your contact attempts have failed, we will pair you with a new mentee.
What advising centers or academic resources are available in Hawaii?

Each major university in Hawaii has a pre-medical advising center, office or staff person.  For any specific questions about curriculum, schedule planning or medical school preparation should be directed to the proper advisor.  Some common advising resources (split up by institution) are:

University of Hawaii at Manoa (OF NOTE: all UH pre-med advising resources are open to ALL students of Hawaii, not only those attending UHM): 

Pre-Health Advising Center

Open to all students – including non-UHM students – interested in medicine (and other health professions). They accept both walk-in and scheduled appointments.

Availability: Monday – Friday, 8:30AM to 4PM

Services provided: academic planning, career exploration, personal statement review, mock interviews, information about post-baccalaureate program options.

Writing Center

Open to any students affiliated with the University of Hawaii. Staffed with writing consultants (usually current Master’s or PhD student in English) who will help you with the writing process. They accept both walk-in and scheduled appointments.

Availability: Monday – Friday, 9AM to 6PM. Students are limited to 1 hour of services per week. Services provided: brainstorming and drafting for essays (e.g. AMCAS entries, personal statement)

Learning Emporium
One-stop resource center for receiving tutoring for biology, chemistry, math, and physics (covers all the pre-

requisite courses needed for medical school).
Availability: Depends on available tutors, but usually open Monday – Friday. Services provided: one-on-one tutoring

Learning Assistance Center

Provides seminars on learning strategies, American academic skills (for international students), and tutoring for biology, chemistry, math, and physics (availability of pre-requisite course tutoring not as extensive as learning emporium).

Availability: Depends on available tutors, but usually open Monday – Friday.
Services Provided: one-on-one tutoring, group review session, study skill development

KOKUA Program
Provides services to students with permanent documented disabilities that affect their learning. Services Provided: exam accommodations, priority registration, mobility assistance, notetaking

UH Hilo

UH Hilo Health Professions Student Center:

Chaminade University:

The Chaminade University Health Professions Advising Center:

Hawaii Pacific University:

HPU Prehealth Professions Program:

HPU Pre-Health Advising Center:


I’m not really familiar with the clubs and other pre-medical activities in Hawaii. Where can I find out more about this?

Please see the mentee resources on the left sidebar of our website.  We include links to a range of activities, clubs, and opportunities for mentees in Hawaii and on the US mainland.

Also keep in mind that each major university on Hawaii has a pre-medical student club.  You can find a list of the clubs on the tab labeled “Extracurriculars/Leadership.”