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The Role of Mentoring in the Development of Successful Orthopaedic Surgeons

Mulcahey, Mary K. MD; Waterman, Brian R. MD; Hart, Robert MD; Daniels, Alan H. MD

JAAOS - Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: July 1, 2018 - Volume 26 - Issue 13 - p 463-471
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-16-00665
Review Article

Mentoring plays an integral role in orthopaedic surgeons' career development and personal growth. Effective mentors are committed to their roles, provide skilled instructional support, model continuous learning, and communicate optimism. Numerous obstacles impede productive mentoring relationships in medicine, including reluctance to ask for help, time constraints due to extensive work obligations, lack of institutional support, relational difficulties, and lack of mentoring skills. Effective partnerships require a concerted effort to establish behaviors conducive to mentoring, such as sharing knowledge and providing constructive feedback. Given that women represent only 13% of orthopaedic surgery residents and racial/ethnic minorities account for 3% to 10% of US orthopaedic surgeons, mentoring may help diversify the workforce by providing early exposure and professional support to physicians from underrepresented demographic groups. Orthopaedic leaders must embrace their professional obligation to cultivate and inspire the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA (Dr. Mulcahey), the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University, Chicago, IL (Dr. Waterman), the Swedish Hospital System, Seattle, WA (Dr. Hart), and the Department of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, and Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI (Dr. Daniels).

Dr. Mulcahey or an immediate family member serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society. Dr. Waterman or an immediate family member serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Hart or an immediate family member has received royalties from DePuy Synthes and SeaSpine; is a member of a speakers' bureau or has made paid presentations on behalf of DePuy Synthes and Globus Medical; serves as a paid consultant to DePuy Synthes and Globus Medical; has received research or institutional support from DePuy Synthes; and serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Association, the Cervical Spine Research Society, the International Spine Study Group, the Lumbar Spine Research Society, the North American Spine Society, the Oregon Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Daniels or an immediate family member serves as a paid consultant to DePuy Synthes, Globus Medical, Orthofix, and Stryker; serves as an unpaid consultant to Osseus; and has received research or institutional support from Orthofix.

Copyright 2018 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
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