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Commentary
December 16, 2009

MentoringWhat's in a Name?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations:Croatian Medical Journal (Drs Sambunjak and Marušić); Zagreb University School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia (Dr Sambunjak); and Croatian Centre for Global Health (Dr Sambunjak) and Department of Research Methodology (Dr Marušić), University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia.

JAMA. 2009;302(23):2591-2592. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1858

Many individuals may know that Mentor is a character from The Odyssey, but perhaps only a few are aware that, according to Homer's epic poem, it is not Mentor who fulfills the duty of advisor and guardian to Odysseus' son Telemachus. Rather, it is Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom, who takes Mentor's form and actually does the job of helping the young man.1 As if cursed by Dionysus, the god of illusion, the term mentor continues to be the source of confusion to this day.

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