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Am J Surg. 2007 Jan;193(1):90-3.

Surgical residents as medical student mentors.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 5 E. 98th St., 15th Floor, Box 1259, New York, NY 10029, USA.



Medical students' decreasing interest in surgery may be caused by the inadequate availability of role models. We believe that surgical residents show the qualities of outstanding surgical mentors and are in a key position to influence students' career choices.


In 2004-2005, 117 medical students at Mount Sinai School of Medicine completed their third-year surgery clerkship. They were asked to complete an anonymous survey regarding a career in surgery and surgical mentors.


A total of 107 students (91%) completed the survey. Seventy-nine percent were influenced positively toward a surgical career after the clerkship. A higher fraction of these students identified a mentor or role model than the students who did not increase their interest in surgery (95% vs 52%). Residents scored higher than attendings in 12 of 14 qualities describing outstanding clinical mentors (P < .001).


Role models are crucial in bolstering medical students' interest in surgical careers. Residents are identified as having qualities that are essential to being an outstanding mentor and residents may play a role in influencing students' career choices.

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