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The Big Sibling Program: Impact of a Medical Student-Resident Mentorship Program during the Surgery Clerkship
Taylor M. Coe, Sophia K. McKinley, Isra Hamdi, Robert D. Sinyard, Kristen M. Jogerst, Emil Petrusa, Joy Moses, Noelle Saillant, Roy Phitayakorn
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Objective: Understand the impact of a Big Sibling mentorship program on medical students and surgery residents.

Design: Structured mentorship pairings followed by survey analysis

Setting: Medical student surgery clerkship at a single academic hospital from July 2019 to December 2020.

Participants: Medical students on their surgery clerkship and surgical research residents

Intervention: Medical students on their surgery clerkship were paired with a Big Sibling, a surgical research resident, based on mutual interests. The resident mentor contacted the student via email and additional contact was at the student"s discretion.

Outcome: Participation in and perceptions of the program and clerkship were assessed with a post-clerkship survey.

Results: 81 medical students and 34 residents participated with a 79% and 96% survey response rate, respectively. 73% of students interacted with their Big Sibling with a total of 182 interactions. The most valuable topics discussed included ward skills, personal development and career advising. Students who interacted >2 times with their Big Sibling were more likely to perceive the operating room as a positive learning environment, view attendings as role models, and receive mentoring and feedback from residents and attendings (p=0.03, 0.02, 0.01 respectively). 78% of residents thought the program was a positive experience and no residents found it burdensome.

Conclusion: The Big Siblings program enhances the surgery clerkship learning environment. Medical students who engaged with their Big Sibling had a more positive view of the clerkship and the mentorship provided by residents and attendings. Future research will assess if this program leads to enhanced surgical career interest.


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