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Ann Vasc Surg. 2017 Oct;44:234-240. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2017.03.173. Epub 2017 May 11.

Effects of Mentorship on Graduating Vascular Surgery Trainees.

Author information

1
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR. Electronic address: mrsmeds@uams.edu.
2
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Division of Vascular and Endovascular Services, State University of New York - Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY.
3
Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.
4
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.
5
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Services, State University of New York - Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY; Division of Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, Veteran Affairs Hospital Upstate Healthcare Network, Syracuse, NY.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mentorship within surgery, particularly vascular surgery, has not been extensively evaluated. This study sought to examine mentorship experiences in graduating vascular trainees (VTs).

METHODS:

An anonymous electronic survey examining current mentor relationships, ideal characteristics, academic productivity, and operative comfort level was emailed to all US graduating 2015 (n = 141) and 2016 (n = 144) VTs during their last year of training. A parallel survey was emailed to program/associate program directors (PDs) of all US vascular training programs (n = 169).

RESULTS:

Surveys were completed by 65 (38%) PDs and 62 (22%) VTs. Forty-three (69%) VTs identified a mentor with no difference in frequency of having a mentor noted among gender, type of training (fellowship/residency), or geographical region. The majority (41/43, 95%) recognized a vascular surgeon as their mentor; the mentor was assigned to 10 of 43 (23%) trainees and was their PD to 9 of 43 (21%). Ideal mentor characteristics, identified by VTs using 4-point Likert scales, were approachability, supportiveness, and accessibility (3.94, 3.76, and 3.74, respectively), while those of a good mentee were enthusiasm, ethical work, and commitment (3.79, 3.69, and 3.45, respectively). Trainees scored accessibility, approachability, compassion, and same gender significantly higher than PDs as characteristics of ideal mentors (P < 0.05). The majority of PDs thought mentorship increased access to research opportunities, professional networking, and job opportunities, but not operative skill (90%, 95%, 65%, and 18%, respectively). There was no difference between trainees with mentors and those without in terms of reported academic productivity or operative comfort level. Vascular fellows reported higher comfort than residents in open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (3.32 vs. 2.73, P = 0.006), juxtarenal aneurysm repair (2.8 vs. 2.1, P = 0.02), and aorto-mesenteric bypass (2.57 vs. 1.93, P = 0.03), and neither group was comfortable performing carotid stenting or fenestrated endovascular aneurysm repairs.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is no difference in academic productivity or case comfort level between surgical trainees with mentors and those without. Possible benefits identified by PDs and trainees include professional networking and increased research and job opportunities. Mentors should be approachable, accessible, supportive, and ethical, while mentees should be enthusiastic, ethical, committed, and approachable. Vascular fellows feel more comfortable with open vascular operations than residents, and nether group feels comfortable with complex endovascular cases. More research is warranted.

PMID:
28501657
DOI:
10.1016/j.avsg.2017.03.173
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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