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Edmund Tsui, Christopher Lo, Eleanore Kim, Ilyse Haberman, Laurence T Sperber, Assumpta Madu, Douglas Lazzaro, Joel Schuman; Assessment of mentorship needs during ophthalmology residency. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):6167.
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Mentorship during various stages of medical training has been demonstrated to improve satisfaction in training and also to shape career goals. There are few studies evaluating formal mentorship programs within ophthalmology residency. We aim to evaluate the mentorship needs of ophthalmology residents, which may provide the framework to establish a formal mentorship program.
An online cross-sectional survey was distributed in May 2017 to all residents (n=20) in the New York University School of Medicine ophthalmology residency program to evaluate their perspectives on mentorship. The questionnaire consisted of multiple choice and Likert-type questions.
The response rate was 100% (20/20 of surveyed residents), of which 7 were PGY-2, 6 were PGY-3, and 7 were PGY-4. Seventy-five percent (15/20) of residents reported that mentorship was “very important” during residency. Approximately two-thirds of residents (13/20) had participated in a formal mentorship program prior to residency. Eighty percent (16/20) of residents reported that two mentors were an ideal number, while 20% preferred three mentors. Sixty percent (12/20) of residents had already identified an informal mentor during residency. Respondents replied that “accessibility” was the most important quality in a mentor followed by “willingness to write a letter of recommendation”. Gender, age, and academic ranking were the least frequently selected as important qualities in a mentor. The most common reason for pursuing a mentor was “seeking career guidance”, followed by “obtaining a letter of recommendation” and “seeking someone as an advocate or confidant”. The least commonly selected reason for seeking a mentor was “improvement of clinical skills”.
Ophthalmology residents view mentorship as an important part of their training. Residents prioritize accessibility and career guidance as important aspects of mentorship and many are seeking a faculty member who may contribute a reference letter in the future. The results of this survey have contributed to the development of a formalized residency mentorship program, and help guide mentorship objectives and practice.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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