UTRGV medical school dean recognized for mentorship

Dr. John Krouse, executive vice president for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, delivers remarks during a spring 2018 commencement ceremony in McAllen. (Courtesy Photo)

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine Dean Dr. John H. Krouse was selected for the 2021 Young Physicians Section (YPS) Model Mentor Award by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the university announced.

Krouse’s award was based on the nomination of a group of young physicians who noted the role the dean’s mentorship played in their success, a UTRGV news release stated.

“I’m quite pleased to be selected as a Model Mentor by the YPS of the academy,” Krouse wrote. “It’s always been important to me to work with those who are earlier in their career than me.”

Krouse began guiding budding doctors during his medical residency — many of whom now work with him at the university.

The release stated that his previous experience as a clinical psychologist has played a role in his ability to mentor students.

“Mentorship is about listening,” Krouse wrote. “You have to get a sense of what someone’s goals and strengths are, and what barriers they perceive. A lot of it is helping someone see whether the barriers are real or not, and craft solutions that allow them to achieve their goals.”

Generally Krouse tries to instill core concepts like flexibility, communication, humility and work-life balance through that mentorship, the release stated.

Usually he has about half a dozen mentees under his wing.

“It’s not very formal a lot of the time – a chat over a cup of coffee. It’s a much more collegial relationship than a formal mentorship hour,” he wrote. “I don’t have all the answers, but I know how to help them find answers that are important for them.”

Krouse wrote that receiving the award is an honor.

“It gives me great satisfaction when I see people who I work with succeed,” he wrote. “When you see someone reaching overall satisfaction, you can feel gratified that you had a small part in getting them there.”

The Model Mentor Award will be one of Krouse’s last recognitions as dean. He is stepping down at the end of the month and handing over the reins of the medical school to Dr. Michael B. Hocker.