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This might sound stupid but what use is a mentor for premed students?  I had attended an event a few days ago and met a doctor who specializes in a field i am very interested in. He gave me his email and said i could contact him if i had any other questions. I plan on emailing him soon, while our meeting is still fresh in his mind but im stuck on what to send in the email.

So my question is to anyones who's had a mentor in what ways were they helpful? 

With it basically being impossible to shadow in Canada what ways can a mentor be of help to an undergrad? i feel i already asked him all the questions i needed answers to so now im stuck coming up with a reason to email other than just saying hi and 'exchanging my email incase an opportunity should come up' and i also have this problem where i always feel like im bothering people by asking for favours so that doesn't help my situation.

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I think it depends on what type of relationship/advice you are looking for. As an undergraduate student, chances are once you ask a few questions about his specialty and what his life is like as a doctor, you won't have many questions left (hence your dilemma right now). I wouldn't necessarily email him just for the sake of emailing, especially if your initial interaction wasn't very long. It won't hurt, but I would expect that relationship to dwindle and not become very strong since you won't have much further personal interaction with him.

While having a few good long term mentors are helpful, its not common to meet these people after a short interaction at an event. That type of relationship comes from years of working together. Rather at this stage of your career (read: applying to med school), the more useful mentors will be those slightly ahead of you who are still well informed and understanding of the application process, what it takes to get into medicine, and how you should approach the next step in your career. A lot can change once you get into medical school and there will be more opportunities to meet good mentors in the form of residents, staff and researchers.

I have had very many good mentors (some on this website), some researchers/physicians from grad school, some who are students a year ahead of me in my class, and lots of residents who have given great advice. It is always a good idea to have mentors and people who can support your journey. You don't need to force the idea though. You will meet helpful people you click with.

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