This Resident Roundup post comes from Georgios I. Chalatsis MD, MSc, PhD(c). Dr. Chalatsis recently completed his national board exams and is now an orthopaedic surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Trauma at the University Hospital of Larisa in Greece.
Mentoring is a crucial aspect of professional development in the field of orthopaedics and orthopaedic surgery. It provides junior surgeons with guidance and support as we navigate our training and early careers, and it helps to ensure that the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons is well prepared to provide the highest level of care to patients.
One of the most important benefits of mentoring is the transfer of knowledge and skills from more experienced surgeons to their mentees. Mentors can provide guidance on everything from surgical technique and patient care to navigating the complexities of the health-care system and building a successful career in orthopaedics. They can also serve as role models, demonstrating the best practices and attitudes that are essential for success in the field.
During my residency, I was privileged to experience mentoring. Through my mentor’s guidance, I was introduced to research, published my first scientific paper (and more that followed), developed my surgical skills, gained valuable insights through continuous medical education, and was given support to learn from my mistakes during clinical practice.
Mentoring can also provide a sense of community and belonging for junior surgeons. Mentors can offer emotional support and encouragement, and can provide mentees with a sounding board for ideas and concerns. This can be especially important for those who are just starting out in their careers and may feel overwhelmed by the demands of training and the responsibilities of the profession.
An orthopaedic resident, in turn, can play a valuable role as a mentee due to their strong work ethic, dedication to learning, and ability to adapt to new situations. They have a strong foundation in the field of orthopaedics and are eager to learn from experienced mentors in order to improve their skills and knowledge. They are able to take constructive criticism and apply it to their practice in order to improve patient care. Additionally, they possess a willingness to take on new responsibilities and are not afraid to ask for help when needed.
Luckily our department promotes the development of mentoring between residents. In this way, residents can both benefit from and contribute to a mentorship program. Senior residents can practice in the role of mentor, sharing their knowledge with less experienced colleagues.
As I think about the future, I expect my relationship with my mentor to grow. This might include making connections with other professionals in the orthopaedic community and, more importantly, receiving valuable feedback that will assist me in identifying areas for development during my first independent career steps.
Georgios I. Chalatsis MD, MSc, PhD(c)
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