How medical students define surgical mentors

Amalia Cochran, Judy L. Paukert, Erin M. Scales, Leigh A. Neumayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background Current literature does not define ideal qualities of surgical mentors. We sought to define mentoring qualities desired by medical students in attending and resident surgeons. Methods We conducted a survey asking third-year medical students to identify the best attending surgeon and resident surgeon mentors during their surgical clerkship and to explain their selections. Comments were systematically evaluated using content analysis. Results The survey response rate was 94.8%. Attending surgeon mentors were described by 84 students; 70 students described resident surgeon mentors. Students most frequently described the "teacher" role for attending surgeons. For resident surgeon mentors, students most often ranked the "person" role. Students prioritized characteristics or attributes within roles differently for attending and resident surgeon mentors. Conclusions Medical students' expectations of attending and resident surgeon mentors differ. Emphasis on behaviors consonant with identified characteristics may improve mentoring of medical students by surgeons and increase interest in surgical careers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-701
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Content analysis
  • Surgical education
  • Surgical mentors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'How medical students define surgical mentors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this