Mentoring Surgeons for the 21st Century

Abstract

Background

Effective mentoring is especially critical in the training of surgeons. The practice of surgery in the 21st century is changing rapidly at every level, requiring a more complex approach to mentoring young surgeons.

Methods

This article draws on the author’s own experiences in mentoring surgeons at a large tertiary care cancer treatment center and on published reports of successful mentoring strategies at other institutions.

Results

Besides clinical and surgical skills, surgical trainees must acquire a broad range of technical, interpersonal, administrative, and research skills. The 21st century brings special demands, including changing treatment patterns, increased diversity in trainees and in patient populations, restrictions on how we train our students, increased concerns about patient privacy, and an aging population. Besides the classic mentor/mentee relationship, different models of mentoring, including mosaic mentoring and collaborative mentoring, are being used to address these issues. Successful mentoring programs occur in institutions that maintain a culture that actively supports mentoring.

Conclusions

New approaches to mentoring can successfully meet the diverse needs of surgical trainees in the 21st century.

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Correspondence to S. Eva Singletary MD.

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Singletary, S.E. Mentoring Surgeons for the 21st Century. Ann Surg Oncol 12, 848–860 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1245/ASO.2005.04.035

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Keywords

  • Mentors
  • Surgery
  • Mosaic mentoring
  • Leadership
  • 21st century