Mentorship in anesthesia: a survey of perspectives among Canadian anesthesia residents
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PURPOSE: Mentorship is important for professional and academic growth; however, the role of mentorship in anesthesia is still being defined. We surveyed Canadian anesthesia residents to explore their perceptions of mentorship relationships. METHODS: We administered a 20-item cross-sectional survey to program directors and anesthesia residents in all Canadian departments of anesthesia. Program directors were asked about their mentorship programs, and residents were asked about their perceptions of benefits and barriers to effective mentoring. RESULTS: Sixteen of 17 (94%) program directors and 189 of 585 (32%) anesthesia residents responded to our survey. While 143 of 180 (79%) residents agreed that mentorship was beneficial to overall success as an anesthesiologist, only 11 of 16 (69%) program directors reported formal mentorship as part of their residency program, and only 119 of 189 (63%) residents reported access to a mentor. Barriers reported by residents included insufficient time with mentors, lack of formalized meeting times and objectives, mentor-mentee incompatibility (personal or professional), and lack of resident choice in mentor selection. CONCLUSION: Our study confirms that, despite positive perceptions among residents, mentorship remains underutilized in anesthesia programs. We identify barriers to effective mentorship, including the need to consider resident choice as a means to improve formal anesthesia mentorship programs.
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