Milissa Kaufman, MD, PhD, is McLean Hospital’s nominee for the 2020 Excellence in Mentoring Awards. Presented by Harvard Medical School, the award recognizes “the value of quality mentoring relationships and the impact they have on professional development and career advancement in basic/clinical medicine, research, teaching, and administration.” Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine faculty members, house officers, fellows, and students select each year’s nominees.
Kaufman is the medical director of the Hill Center for Women and the Adult Trauma Disorders Treatment Track in the Adult Outpatient Services at McLean, and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is also the director of the Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program at McLean.
Mentoring plays a key role in all of Kaufman’s work. “Currently, my mentoring work focuses on guiding a terrific group of highly talented clinicians and trainees—all of whom are dedicating their careers to serving those patients with histories of traumatic stress exposure,” she explained.
Kaufman also mentors an “outstanding group” of McLean researchers. “I provide mentorship to junior faculty members, post-docs, and research assistants committed to furthering our understanding of the phenomenology and neurobiology of post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative identity disorder,” she stated. “We discuss everything from new ideas for study or innovation to career advancement.”
Kaufman’s commitment to mentoring comes from her personal experience. “I became a mentor because I was mentored, and I’m still being mentored,” she said. “I believe many at McLean would say the same thing—we are paying it forward—giving back because of what we received from our own mentors, teachers, and supervisors.”
Regarding her nomination for the Excellence in Mentoring Award, Kaufman said, “I am honored, humbled, and surprised by the nomination. McLean Hospital is full of amazing mentors, many who have mentored me in significant ways. My mentees are teaching me how to continue to deepen our clinical work, serve our patients, and expand our research efforts in new and exciting ways.”
A celebration to honor the Excellence in Mentoring Award recipients was originally scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2020. The event has been postponed until further notice.