A mentor is essentially regarded as a wise and trusted teacher or one who can help show the way; someone who “has been there, done that”. Mentors serve as role models, advisors, professional partners and above all, as reliable friends. Mentors can have a profound effect on someone new to the profession eg. dental students or dental graduates. Mentorship can therefore provide a platform for interaction and friendship between the mentors and mentees. It can represent the passing of the baton, so to speak. It brings meaning to the professional and personal lives of dentists, dental students and young graduates and can be a very rewarding experience for all.
As the dental profession moves forward beyond their role as content experts and oral healthcare provider, the value of soft skills, professional leadership, communication networking and building professional/personal networks through relationships with one another within and beyond the profession, become increasingly essential. In this regard, the Malaysian Dental Association has a vital role to play in its timely partnership with the Malaysian Dental Students’ Association.