Mentorship/Sponsorship and Leadership in Academic Surgery: Similarities and Differences

  • L. D. BrittEmail author
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


As is the case for any organizational entity or occupational discipline, mentorship and

sponsorship are essential in the establishment in sustained leadership in academic surgery.

While “mentorship” occurs when information and counsel are provided (with an expectation of

support and guidance), “sponsorship” denotes more active involvement and interface with the

person(s) being supported, which includes the sponsor taking on an active advocacy role. The

main pillars of the foundation of leadership include the following:
  • Integrity

  • Vision

  • Judgment

  • Commitment

  • Strategic experience

Communicative skills, generosity, administrative/organizational expertise, and implementation

abilities are the requisite operational components that facilitate strong leadership. Acquisition of

such operational components cannot be achieved without meaningful mentorship/sponsorship.


Mentorship/sponsorship Leadership Academic surgery 


  1. 1.
    Ochsner A. A report of our founders. Bull Am Coll Surg. 1953;38:15–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical SchoolNorfolkUSA

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