How to find a mentor…

Bonny P McClain
Apr 24, 2015 · 3 min read

I am regularly approached by either writers new to the field of medical writing or medical professionals in transition. Although I specifically write about health policy and medicine I sense a broad applicability. Please lend your voice or expertise to this topic as I believe those seeking mentors would like to find a rewarding “partner” but perhaps are unaware of how to establish strong relationships. In the rise of the digital age and the increasing number of remote content developers we are entering into unchartered territory.

1. Do your due diligence
Most of us that have reached a certain level of autonomy or “success” have worked long and hard. We are not here to do your google searches or to give you a recipe for success. I am happy to share insights ( but since your mileage may vary you should use these as seeds for you to seek out your own journey.

2. Know your content markets
If you want to blog but aren’t reading or following any, I can’t help you. There is a lot of information about selecting a platform, SEO, social media in general, finding your voice, and on and on, freely available on the internet. You should not enter the din of blogging unless you have something meaningful to share nor is it a cash cow to fund your dreams of early retirement. Before you jump on the ever crowded bandwagon may I suggest you follow at least 3 or 4 blogs or podcasts from a variety of industries — I am gifting you a few suggestions below.

3. Become interesting
You need a curious mind and a willingness to learn new skills, read and research a ton, and most importantly — move beyond the sterile and misleading headlines of digital media. Load up your RSS feed with breaking news sources around health policy, research, or medicine — identify the lacuna and fill it with your interesting perspective or insights.

Individuals that continue to impress are those that want to be of service before asking for your business or support. Offer to edit or do research — start at the bottom and offer bi-directional support — it makes it hard to refuse.

Here are a few podcasts that I recommend although I encourage you to try on a variety of others to see if they “fit”…I do swap out different podcasts from time to time but these always seem to end up in rotation.

Listening to conversations helps me to contextualize the clinical research and health policy reading that makes up a big part of my day. It manages to be a better day if I begin with contemplative activities like a long run or walk with Fred (my hound)…

99% invisible

99% Invisible is a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.

TED radio hour

a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create.


A weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer or editor on craft and career.

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Filmmaker Brian Koppelman’s podcast explores how people who accomplish amazing things use inflection points as fuel.

Design Matters

The world’s first podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians, and other luminaries of contemporary thought

Thoughtful discussions about content development and outcomes analytics that apply the principles and frameworks of health policy and economics to persistent and perplexing health and health care problems.

Bonny P McClain

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healthcare visualized 🚑 data architect 📊 data don’t lie

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