John Chuck, MD

Internal Medicine, North Valley

New Physician Orientation and Mentoring Programs

“Mentoring is our first and best opportunity to make a positive, lasting impression on our newest associates.”

Inspired by the informal mentoring experience he had after joining TPMG in 1989, but believing that “it’s too risky to leave a great mentoring relationship to chance,” in 1999, Dr. Chuck created one of the first structured mentoring programs in TPMG.

Developed to meet the needs of new primary care physicians joining the Medicine Department in the North Valley, the program formally paired each new hire with a tenured physician on his or her module, and provided them with shared goals and administrative time in which to meet. Dr. Chuck supplemented those one-on-one relationships with a quarterly lecture series delivered by TPMG physicians over a two-year period. “My experience teaching at university medical centers and as staff education chief in TPMG taught me that the most helpful teachers were TPMG clinicians who practiced evidence-based medicine,” Dr. Chuck explains.

In rating the program, 93% of the physicians in the Class of 2003 reported both that consultations with their mentors helped them to acclimate to practice in Permanente, and that the new hire lecture series increased their clinical effectiveness. In recent years, Dr. Chuck has shared his enthusiasm and expertise with other departments in the North Valley and around the region. “It’s been a completely satisfying and positive experience,” he concludes, “and it just energizes me to try to do even more.”