Appraisal of mentorship in cardiothoracic surgery training

Academic Article


  • Objectives: Although the importance of mentorship in training the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons is widely recognized, the current state of mentorship remains undefined. Methods: Trainee responses to questions in the 2017 In-Training Examination regarding aspects of mentorship were analyzed. Response rate was 78% (288/370). Mentor-related and trainee-related characteristics were assessed. Results: The majority (84%) of residents had mentors, with a high impact on specialty choice (80%), and 91% of respondents viewed mentorship as critical to success. Nearly half (42%) had program-assigned mentors; 53% found them as productive, and 13% reported more consistent/frequent meetings than personally selected mentors, with 22% reporting less ideal personality match compared with personally selected mentors. Among residents with mentors, 36% lacked mentorship in work-life balance, 23% lacked mentorship in job assistance, and 22% lacked mentorship in career advice. Junior residents more often valued mentors as role models, whereas mentors chosen by senior residents were more impactful in technical training, job counseling, and societal involvement. Compared with men, women more often valued mentors as role models and assisting in networking. Men reported their mentors were more impactful in teaching technical skills and clinical ability than women. Conclusions: The majority of current cardiothoracic surgery trainees had mentorship; however, gaps remain: Many residents lacked career path guidance, assistance obtaining a job, and advice regarding life-work balance. The role of mentorship varied with program type, seniority, and gender, emphasizing the need to tailor mentorship to the individual and changing needs of the resident.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stephens EH; Goldstone AB; Fiedler AG; Vardas PN; Pattakos G; Lou X; Chen PC; Tchantchaleishvili V
  • Start Page

  • 2216
  • End Page

  • 2223
  • Volume

  • 156
  • Issue

  • 6