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Mentors Keep You Focused

Posted on December 3, 2007

Patricia Suppes (bio) emphasizes the importance of good mentorship.


I think it’s very important and it made a huge difference in my life, is that you have good mentorship. I think that can’t be stated strongly enough. I think it made a huge difference for me as well as for many other people I know. And it isn’t that they are going to have all the answers, but they can help kind of keep you a little bit focused on the freeway and help sponsor you. So, having good mentorship is absolutely very important, I think.

I’ve had many mentors, because I’ve been at this 30 years. All of them have been very helpful, and my psychiatric mentors. When I was in med school, for example, I used to meet with George Valiant a lot who’s known more to not the bipolar groups, and the intellectual conversations about psychiatry were very interesting. And then when I was at McLean, I had a number of mentors. I worked very closely intellectually with Ross Baldessarini, but I also worked with Harrison Pope, Sue McElroy, and I’ve had a very rich training in that regard, and Ross Baldessarini we did, as I said, some very nice intellectual work together, but also other mentors there.

Now, as a junior faculty, John Rush I feel was very important. He was my primary mentor when I got there and we worked on things. We did the Texas project together, and he was also my main person on my K Award. We met weekly or every other week. It was a little bit earlier stage of his career also, and it was just very helpful.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2007 International Conference on Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.


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