A Systematic Scoping Review of Ethical Issues in Mentoring in Surgery.J Med Educ Curric Dev. 2019 Jan-Dec; 6:2382120519888915.JM
Mentoring is crucial to the growth and development of mentors, mentees, and host organisations. Yet, the process of mentoring in surgery is poorly understood and increasingly mired in ethical concerns that compromise the quality of mentorship and prevent mentors, mentees, and host organisations from maximising its full potential. A systematic scoping review was undertaken to map the ethical issues in surgical mentoring to enhance understanding, assessment, and guidance on ethical conduct.
Arksey and O'Malley's methodological framework was used to guide a systematic scoping review involving articles published between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2018 in PubMed, Embase, Scopus, ERIC, ScienceDirect, Mednar, and OpenGrey databases. Braun and Clarke's thematic analysis approach was adopted to compare ethical issues in surgical mentoring across different settings, mentee and mentor populations, and host organisations.
A total of 3849 abstracts were identified, 464 full-text articles were retrieved, and 50 articles were included. The 3 themes concerned ethical lapses at the levels of mentor or mentee, mentoring relationships, and host organisation.
Mentoring abuse in surgery involves lapses in conduct, understanding of roles and responsibilities, poor alignment of expectations, and a lack of clear standards of practice. It is only with better structuring of mentoring processes and effective support of host organisation tasked with providing timely, longitudinal, and holistic assessment and oversight will surgical mentoring overcome prevailing ethical concerns surrounding it.