The Role of Mentoring in the Development of Successful Orthopaedic Surgeons

Mary K. Mulcahey, Brian R. Waterman, Robert Hart, Alan H. Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Mentoring plays an integral role in orthopaedic surgeons' career development and personal growth. Effective mentors are committed to their roles, provide skilled instructional support, model continuous learning, and communicate optimism. Numerous obstacles impede productive mentoring relationships in medicine, including reluctance to ask for help, time constraints due to extensive work obligations, lack of institutional support, relational difficulties, and lack of mentoring skills. Effective partnerships require a concerted effort to establish behaviors conducive to mentoring, such as sharing knowledge and providing constructive feedback. Given that women represent only 13% of orthopaedic surgery residents and racial/ethnic minorities account for 3% to 10% of US orthopaedic surgeons, mentoring may help diversify the workforce by providing early exposure and professional support to physicians from underrepresented demographic groups. Orthopaedic leaders must embrace their professional obligation to cultivate and inspire the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-471
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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