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  • How Will You Leave Your Legacy?

    December 01, 2011


    As our field advances, this question becomes increasingly important. One answer is through mentorship. From a resident's perspective, mentorship begins on day one of residency. Reading out with attendings for nearly eight hours per day fosters a mentoring relationship. The structure of radiology residency naturally facilitates these types of interactions.

    Nevertheless, with the growing number of priorities in our field, including workflow efficiency, patient safety and innovative research, the importance of the mentoring relationship may be underestimated. Multiple articles have been published about the role of mentorship in a radiologist's career. It has been shown to increase productivity, enhance teaching skills, and encourage residents to pursue leadership positions in academic medicine. The same benefits have been demonstrated when there is a successful mentoring relationship between junior and senior faculty members.

    Establishing connections between radiologists at different career levels promotes not only academic achievement but also the development of strategies for optimizing career satisfaction and work-life balance. Communication of career advice can occur through many avenues, but it seems unwise to leave such important dialogue to chance. Formal mentorship programs may be the key to our field's future success.

    Nazia Jafri, M.D.
    Nazia Jafri, M.D., is a 4th-year radiology resident and chief resident at the University of California, San Francisco, and a member of the RSNA News Editorial Board.
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