Surgical Mentorship: Practical Advice

          This program is designed to give students the opportunity to gain the skills and experience they need to prepare for a career in surgery. Goals for each student may vary from purely gaining experience in an operating theatre, finding out which surgical specialty you would like to pursue, to approaching a mentor to supervise an audit. As the HYMS fourth year blackboard post states, "You get out what you put into it".

          Once students enter the program and have been allocated a mentor, the next step is contacting them. Asking you to contact your mentors directly allows you to choose when and how frequently you want to go to theatre. Furthermore, operating schedules are likely to change (ex. an operation may be delayed until the next day because an emergency case has just come in). For this reason, direct timely communication with your mentor as opposed to scheduled sessions will prevent you from showing up at the hospital at a scheduled time for a canceled surgery.

          In the past, students have reported difficulties in contacting their mentor. This article lists some steps to help you get in touch with your surgical mentor below:

1. Email - Usually, an NHS email (, as opposed to a HYMS email (if they have one), is your best bet.

2. Phone their secretary - Dial the hospital reception who will connect you to the surgeon's secretary. Arrange a time to meet the surgeon when they are free.

3. While on placement try to personally meet your mentor - if you are unsure which ward they are on, ask reception

4. Contact the surgeon's registrar and try to arrange a time when you can come in

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