Pre-Med Academics

5 Tips that Will Make You a Great Pre-Med Mentee

As a pre-medical student, navigating the road to medical school can be challenging. From optimizing extracurriculars to applying to medical school, having a good mentor can be extremely helpful. Once you find a mentor, you’ll need to learn how to nurture the mentee-mentor relationship into a fruitful one. What can you do as a mentee to get the most from your mentor? Here are five tips for being a good pre-med mentee!

Respect your Mentor’s Time and Expertise

Your mentor is taking time out of their day to help you. As a pre-med mentee, you may not have much to offer to the relationship, but you can certainly offer them your gratitude by making the most of their time. Show up to meetings on time. Be prepared with an agenda and thoughtful questions. Seriously consider their advice, even if it may not be exactly what you want to hear. Remember, they have more experience in the field and are providing you guidance to help you reach your goals.

Set Realistic Expectations

A successful pre-med mentee will set goals and ask for expectations at the beginning of the mentorship. Having expectations is a two-way street and will build a solid foundation for the mentorship. Certain things you want to know as a mentee – How often should you be in contact with your mentor? What is the best way to communicate with them (i.e., email, phone calls)? You should also let your mentor know exactly what you’re hoping to get out of the relationship. Are there any goals you are hoping to achieve by a certain time? When you both are clear on your outcome, you can better work together to achieve it. Throughout the mentorship, be honest if you need something to change or if your goals have changed. Having this open dialogue will create a strong mentor-mentee relationship.

Ask Specific Questions

Curiosity will serve you as a mentee. Be willing to learn from your mentors. When preparing to meet with your mentor, develop a few specific questions you hope your mentor can answer. Specific questions allow your mentor to better help you.

For example, instead of asking, “How can I maximize my chances of getting into medical school?,” ask for example, “Do you think pursuing research position 1 or 2 would best strengthen my medical school application?”

Be Persistent

Keep in mind, your mentors are busy people. A good pre-med mentee is one who initiates the conversations. Instead of waiting for them to come to you, reach out when you have questions. Also, your mentor may forget to follow up with you once in a while. This isn’t a sign that you should not continue to reach out. You can send them a follow up after 1-2 weeks of not hearing back. The more proactive you are, the more you will get from the mentorship.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Growth

The best way you can make use of your mentor’s time and energy invested in you is by taking action. Your mentor can offer you the tools and guidance to succeed. However, they cannot do the work for you. Use the advice your mentor has offered you and take responsibility for your own growth. Be willing to put in the work to make you and your mentor proud!

Are you a pre-medical student looking for a mentor to guide you through the medical school application process? Join Med Mentors! We are a free mentorship program matching pre-medical students with medical student mentors. Sign up at!

Do you need more mentorship guidance? MedSchoolCoach can help you connect with real doctors who are eager to give their professional advice. MedSchoolCoach also has experts specialized in helping pre-med students get into medical school and much more! See if any of their advising packages are right for you!

Lily Trinh

Lily is the founder of Med Mentors, an organization that matches students with mentors, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is a medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine. She is originally from Southern California and attended UC Irvine where she received her degree in Biological Sciences. At UC Irvine, she was a research intern for the UCI Center of Stress and Health and a Division I track and field athlete. As a first-generation college student in the US and the first in her family to pursue medicine, her mentors played a critical role in her journey in medicine. She is currently applying for residency in Otolaryngology.

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