Responsibilities of the Mentor

  • Jean-Nicolas VautheyEmail author
  • Yukihiro Yokoyama
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced person helps to guide a less experienced or knowledgeable person. The mentor in surgery is typically a qualified surgeon assigned to a more junior trainee. The trainee can be a medical student, a resident, a fellow, or a junior faculty. In surgery the mentor himself is defined by unique and personal traits of a nonhierarchical quality relationship. The mentor will trigger motivation (interests), inspiration (internal energy), and resilience in the mentee. This chapter will define the active (interventional) and passive (behavioral) responsibilities of the mentor. The mentor himself expands the horizons of the mentee and opens new doors. He transmits himself and projects qualities that will energize the mentee in his/her academic pursuit.


Mentorship Medical student Resident Fellow Junior faculty Surgeon 


  1. 1.
    Clinard LM, Ariav T. What mentoring does for mentors: a cross-cultural perspective. Eur J Teach Educ. 1998;21:91–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cochran A, Elder WB, Neumayer LA. Characteristics of effective mentorship for academic surgeons: a grounded theory model. Ann Surg. 2017.
  3. 3.
    Jaunoo SS, King TR, Baker RF, et al. A national survey of reasons why students and junior doctors choose not to pursue a career in surgery. Ann R Coll Surg Engl (Suppl). 2014;96:192–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lillemoe KD. Surgical mentorship: a great tradition, but can we do better for the next generation? Ann Surg. 2017;266:401–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Meyerson SL, Sternbach JM, Zwischenberger JB, et al. Resident autonomy in the operating room: expectations versus reality. Ann Thorac Surg. 2017;104:1062–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Meyerson SL, Teitelbaum EN, George BC, et al. Defining the autonomy gap: when expectations do not meet reality in the operating room. J Surg Educ. 2014;71:64–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ragins BR, Cotton JL, Miller JS. Marginal mentoring: the effects of type of mentor, quality of relationship, and program design on work and career attitudes. Acad Manage J. 2000;43:117–1194.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Smeds MR, Huynh C, Thrush CR, et al. Effects of mentorship on graduating vascular surgery trainees. Ann Vasc Surg. 2017.
  9. 9.
    Vauthey JN. Seven keys to success in academic surgery. Br J Surg. 2017;104:962–3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vauthey JN, Maddern GJ, Gertsch P. Cesar Roux--Swiss pioneer in surgery. Surgery. 1992;112:946–50.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Vauthey JN, Zimmitti G, Shindoh J. From Couinaud to molecular biology: the seven virtues of hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery. HPB (Oxford). 2012;14:493–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Voss RK, Chiang Y-J, Cromwell KD, et al. Do no harm, except to ourselves? a survey of symptoms and injuries in oncologic surgeons and pilot study of an intraoperative ergonomic intervention. J Am Coll Surg. 2017;224:16–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyUniversity of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations