While mentorship remains important in orthopedic training, few studies have delineated specific priorities for creating successful mentorship programs and reciprocal satisfaction among contemporary trainees and faculty. The purpose of this study was to define beneficial mentor qualities along with specific mentee characteristics to facilitate improved mentoring relationships in orthopedic surgery.
This is a cross-sectional study with a 16 multi-item self-reported survey.
This study was conducted at 11 tertiary orthopedic surgery training programs during the 2017 American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) North American Traveling Fellowship Tour.
Eighty orthopedic resident trainees and 90 academic faculty members completed the survey.
Around 55.0% of residents and 48.9% of faculty acknowledged a formal mentorship program at their institution. Furthermore, 61.3% of residents and 61.1% of faculty reported having a current mentor. The top 3 qualities valued by residents were a mentor who modeled work-life balance, remained in touch with contemporary issues in training, and provided timely counseling. Faculty valued a mentor who accepted their goals and priorities, provided counseling, and enhanced exposure in their subspecialty. Surveyed faculty were more satisfied than their corresponding residents with how their mentor promoted them, enhanced their exposure, was a friend, and protected them from exploitative collaborations. Mentee participation was considered the most important variable for a successful mentor relationship, while mentee acknowledgement of their mentors was the least prioritized quality.
Faculty had a higher overall satisfaction with their mentoring relationships in orthopedic surgery. Residents reported more favorable results when their mentor was a role model of work-life balance. For optimal success, mentors identified active participation and openness to feedback as the most important quality for a mentee to display. These qualities contribute to a heightened sense of satisfaction among mentors and mentees and can be utilized to further guide development of both formal and informal programs for residents and faculty.

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