Mentorship Program Group Pic

LDA and LSUSD Mentorship Program

The LSU School of Dentistry Mentoring Program matches LSU School of Dentistry students with mentor dentists who are active members of the Louisiana Dental Association. The Mentoring Program gives students a valuable opportunity to connect with and learn from LDA dentists. It offers dentists the opportunity to share advice and expertise with future members of their profession.

Become a Mentor
Become a Mentee
Who Is Eligible?

  • LSU School of Dentistry dental students
  • LDA active member dentists from anywhere in the state

Program Expectations:
The Mentorship Program is mostly self-guided, emphasizing mentor/mentee communication in whichever method works best for you. To ensure a successful mentor-student match, LDA asks participants to review the program guidelines.

LDA asks that our mentor dentists:

  • Commit to mentoring their student(s) for no less than two consecutive years.
  • Remain a member of the LDA through their time in the program.
  • Invite students to meet in person at other LDA events (continuing education seminars, Dentists’ Day at the Legislature, etc.) or through self-scheduled meetups (mentor dinners, coffee meetings, office shadowing opportunities, etc.) throughout the year.
  • Reach out regularly to connect through phone and email when in-person meetings are not possible.

Mentorship Program FAQs

What is the Mentorship Program?

The Mentor Program introduces students to dental professionals who are members of
organized dentistry. The program fosters relationships between practitioners and
students during their training. It provides an avenue for students to take when looking
for additional information, considering career options and seeking opinions from
"someone who has been there." The Mentor Program also introduces students to the
concerns and ideas that will be important in their careers.

What are the goals of the Mentorship Program?

The Mentor Program enables students to obtain advice and guidance for some of the
concerns involved in beginning a dental career. It is intended to integrate the dentist of
tomorrow with the dental community. Students will have the opportunity to interact
with practitioners from organized dentistry to begin to better understand real world
experiences and the benefits of organized dentistry. 

How does the Mentorship Program work?

Interested students and practicing dentists complete a registration form. The form will
be used to pair students with dentists. A dentist may be paired with no more than two
dental students. Each program participant is asked to commit for two years, though
long-term, informal professional relationships may continue.

The program begins with an email, conference or telephone call between the mentor
and mentee. From there, the mentor and mentee define how they want the relationship
to progress. Several organized social opportunities will be offered throughout the year.
These organized events should be supplemental with visits to the mentor's office to
answer the students' questions regarding the operation of a private office.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a practicing dentist who is a member of organized dentistry and willing to
be an additional resource to the dentist of tomorrow.

A mentor can be:

  • A wise and trusted friend.
  • A good listener, someone who cares.
  • Someone who helps another develop his or her vision and work to their fullest potential.
  • A resource for information.
Responsibilities of a mentor:
  • Initiate the first contact and then communicate frequently.
  • Express your expectations for the relationship and define what you hope to gain from and offer to the relationship.
  • Provide an opportunity for the mentee to observe the operation of a dental office.
  • Invite your mentee to participate in professional activities with you, such as component meetings, continuing education seminars, and meetings with dental suppliers.
  • Complete and submit feedback form to the LDA

What can a mentor do for a mentee?

  • Explore career possibilities.
  • Network with colleagues.
  • Work through problems with a new perspective.
  • Share expertise and experience.
  • Aid in developing dentistry's future professionals.
  • Give back to the profession.
  • Stay apprised of changes in dental education.
  • Make a real difference in the life of a dental student. 

What is a mentee?

A mentee is a dental student interested in enhancing his or her dental education by
forming a relationship with a practicing member of the dental profession.

A mentee has:

  • An open mind.
  • A willingness to learn.
  • A commitment to his/her future.
  • A willingness to be an active participant

Responsibilities of the Mentee:
  • Communicate openly and freely.
  • Honor appointments and commitments.
  • Express expectations for the relationship and define what you hope to gain from
    and offer to the relationship.
  • Provide feedback to your mentor.
  • Attend 1 to 2 planned meetings through LSUSD

What are the basics of every mentor/mentee relationship?

  • Be willing and eager to listen and talk.
  • Be honest.
  • Be enthusiastic and positive.
  • Feel free to share your opinion, but guard against telling someone what to do or not to do.
  • Enjoy yourself, have fun, and thank your mentor for the time and attention.

What if the relationship doesn't work?

If you have tried your best to communicate with each other and the relationship is not
working, contact the Louisiana Dental Association's mentor program coordinator. If you
feel you are not well-matched, another attempt will be made to pair you with a new

The LSU School of Dentistry, the LSU School of Dentistry Alumni Association, and the
Louisiana Dental Association are excited about the Mentor Program's opportunities.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions.