​The Academic Medicine Research Institute (AMRI) has launched the Individual Development Plan (IDP) Program to help clinicians develop their research careers and become successful clinician investigators and scientists. Consistent with the need to boost mentorship, the program is set to nurture research talent in the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre.

Through the IDP Program, AMRI will work with clinician-researchers to develop an individualised research development plan and link them to mentors and a range of AMRI and/or SingHealth Research support programs and experts. This is a consultative process developed with each clinician-researcher after assessing their career goals, research strengths and scientific needs.   The program will also establish communication between AMRI, Academic Clinical Program (ACP) leaders, respective department heads and mentors for their support of an individual’s IDP.

The IDP Program joins the ranks of other AMRI programs that enable research careers. One of these programs is the AMRI’s Khoo Scholars Program, which has seen successes since its inception. In the past three years, AMRI’s Khoo Scholars have won a total of 12 national grants and 14 foundation grants.   The new IDP programme will continue to empower clinicians and researchers to reach new heights in Academic Medicine.

The IDP Program was launched at AMRI’s inaugural Research Mentors Forum on 24 November 2014.   The forum is held yearly to support mentors at SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre and appreciate their efforts. At the forum, keynote speaker Prof Victor Dzau, M.D, President, Institute of Medicine, Chancellor Emeritus for Health Affairs at Duke University and SingHealth Board member shared insights into research mentorship and his personal experience of benefiting from his mentors.

Dr Dzau quoted Galileo, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself”. More than teaching skills, mentoring is about supporting a person’s exploration of who they are as well as helping them to develop into their truest selves. Prof Dzau emphasised that a good mentor needs to be concerned about the mentee as an individual and to keep the mentee’s best interests at heart.

“To help a person explore themselves and their future, a good mentor needs to take bets on people and push them to explore new parts of themselves, develop skills they didn’t know they had.”, Dr Dzau remarked.

Dr Dzau also shared about how he benefited from his mentor, Prof Eugene Braunwald, who took a bet on him even though he was a marginalised China-born resident in the white-male-dominated institution back in 1970s. He noted that the spirit of generosity of these great mentors who believed in meritocracy enabled the nurturing of mentees into well-rounded physicians.

To learn more about AMRI and their programmes, visit https://www.academic-medicine.edu.sg/amri/