The AAEP's Mentoring Program - Outrider

facilitates the creation of relationships between newer AAEP members and more experienced members.

Outrider logo

Younger AAEP members expressed that they felt tremendous support from the AAEP and colleagues as students and interns, but they perceive that this support network decreased after they transitioned into new practitioner roles. It is our hope that Outrider will help these young equine veterinarians successfully navigate equine practice and find long-term professional fulfillment.

Now you can also ask a question of a mentor. Simply click on the button below to get advice on contract negotiation, work/life balance, goal setting, financial management and much more. If you wish to ask your question anonymously, you can send your question directly to Nick Altwies at and he will facilitate an answer for you.

Students and new practitioners, you have access to a powerful network of equine professionals with years of experience they can share. Use the Outrider network to:

  • Connect with equine professionals who share similar interests in equine medicine.
  • Seek out opportunities to meet with professionals in a career path within the profession that you are pursuing.
  • Arrange opportunities to shadow an equine professional.
  • Locate resources to assist with your career success.

Who can be a mentee?

Any member can seek advice from a mentor as a mentee.

What is expected from a mentee?

Sign up! Initiate conversation and have some questions ready for your mentor. Be responsive so the engagement is as fluid as possible.

Who can be a mentor?

A member can be a mentor if they have been in equine practice for five or more years and are interested in giving back to the profession by mentoring a veterinarian in their first five years in practice. Veterinarians in all facets of equine practice - private, academia, industry, etc. - are encouraged to be mentors. You will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire and AAEP staff will match you with a mentee.

What does a mentor do?

A mentor is defined as an experienced and trusted adviser. Mentors share knowledge and life experiences and are invested in having a good relationship with their mentees. A good mentor should be a great listener, and be committed to a mentee relationship that builds trust, encourages open communication, and provides support to the mentee.

What are the expectations and responsibilities of a good mentor?

The exact nature of the relationship between mentors and mentees will be up to the pair. We expect that the majority of the conversations will not be face-to-face, but will consist of phone calls, emails, and text messaging. We hope the conversations can occur at least once a month. The AAEP will provide resources and an email listserv for all those serving as mentors. All pairings have a one-year term and both parties need to opt back into the particular relationship for it to continue. If one or both parties elect not to renew the relationship, both parties can return to the pool and receive a new match. This may occur for a variety of reasons. Some pairs may not be a good fit, some people may not have the time to devote to be a mentor during a particular year(s), a menteeā€™s needs may change, or the relationship was successful and the parties no longer need the AAEP program to maintain their relationship, as it will simply continue organically.

Additional mentor responsibilities

  • Be clear and honest about communication preferences (type and frequency).
  • Offer advice/experience, encourage when appropriate, and act as a sounding board.
  • Be available to the mentee as agreed upon.
  • Adhere to the AAEP code of conduct.

Ask a Mentor a Question