The mentor is not synonymous with preceptor, coach, tutor, role model, or supervisor. A mentor has a deeper, more pervasive, more enduring, and more personal relationship with the mentee. The relationship is formative and interactive, there is a give and take; the goal is to engender both personal and professional growth. The mentor is a guide, not a supervisor; advice is offered in contrast to orders being issued. The mentorship relationship is distinguished from other types of interactions by both its breadth of scope and depth of focus; it is a “uniquely encompassing relationship.” The five characteristics of the traditional mentoring model have been identified by Bussey-Jones: teaching, sponsoring, guidance, socialization into a profession, and provision of counsel and moral support. On the personal level, mentors are outgoing, interactive, kind, and just people. In the realm of academic surgery, they are collaborative, skilled clinically, and intellectual in their personal orientation.
Mentor Mentorship style Career guidance Mentee Professional development
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