Mentorship is an important factor for career promotion and professional development. The Women in Surgery Committee developed a mentorship program that matched early career female surgeons to senior female surgeons for 1 year. We hypothesized participation in the program would empower junior surgeons by providing opportunities to network and hone skills necessary to attain their career goals.
Survey was sent 4 to 6 weeks after program completion. Statements about mentorship and value of the Women in Surgery Committee program were ranked on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). Participants were compared based on frequency of encounters using Student’s t-test.
A total of 105 pairs were identified; response rate was 60%. Results reported as (mean ± SD). Participants believed mentorship was essential for young surgeons (4.5 ± 1.0), and limiting the program to female surgeons added value (4.4 ± 0.6). When compared with mentees who met less than 4 times in a year, those who met 4 or more times perceived the program as beneficial (4.4 ± 0.82, p < 0.001). Mentees who met 4 or more times in a year benefitted from creating and achieving goals (4.3 ± 0.75, p < 0.001), setting expectations (4.5 ± 0.6, p < 0.001), providing networking opportunities (4.1 ± 1.1, p < 0.05), and developing professional skills (3.9 ± 0.98).
The Women in Surgery Committee Mentorship Program provides an opportunity for young female surgeons; however, perceived benefit is dependent on mentee engagement.