Speed Mentoring: An Innovative Method to Meet the Needs of the Young Surgeon

J Surg Educ. Nov-Dec 2017;74(6):1007-1011. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.05.004. Epub 2017 May 23.


Objective: Speed mentoring has recently been used by several medical organizations as a strategy to establish mentoring relationships, which are felt to be critically important in the development of the surgeon. This study assesses a surgical speed-mentoring program at the 2015 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress.

Design: A steering committee designed the speed-mentoring program to match 60 ACS Resident and Associate Society mentees with a mix of junior and senior leadership of ACS. Each mentee met with 5 mentors for 10 minutes each during the 1 hour session. After participation in the activity, surveys were provided to assess the event. The survey included forced-choice questions using Likert-scales as well as open-ended questions. Mentor and mentee responses were compared using Medcalc software using comparison of means and comparison of proportion, with p < 0.05 considered significant.

Setting: The study was undertaken at the 2015 ACS Clinical Congress.

Participants: A total of 60 mentors and 49 mentees participated in the inaugural ACS Speed-Mentoring activity. The postactivity survey was completed by 54 mentors (90%) and 39 mentees (79.5%).

Results: There was a high level of satisfaction with the activity, with 100% of mentors and mentees stating that they would recommend the activity to a colleague. There was overall high satisfaction with the organization of the session by both the mentors and the mentees although the mentors were more likely to feel that they needed more time for each interaction. More mentees (93%) than mentors (68.5%) felt they were likely to develop a mentoring relationship with one of their matches outside of the organized session.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that a speed-mentoring event at a national surgical meeting offers an effective platform for mentoring and is mutually beneficial to both mentors and mentees. Data collected here will be used to modify and improve the design of future speed-mentoring sessions.

Keywords: Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Professionalism; mentoring; speed mentoring; young surgeons.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Mentoring / organization & administration*
  • Mentors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality Improvement
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States