A Mentorship Program of the WFNS
Muhammad Raji Mahmud
Module Developed by:
With Contributions from
• Professor Peter Black
• Dr Bob Harbaugh
• Dr Gail Rosseau
• Dr George Jallo
• Dr Rick Abbott
• Professor Hildo Azevedo-Filho
• Dr Ed Benzel
• Dr John Loeser
• Professor Benedicto Colli
• Professor Jurgen Meixensberger
• Dr Aristotelis Filippidis
• Dr Muhammad Raji Mahmud
• Professor Bernard George
• Dr Jogi Pattisapu
With Contributions from
• Professor Alejandra Rabadan
• Dr Ashwini Sharan
• Dr John Ratliff
• Dr Raphael Tamargo
• Dr Lalingam Sekhar
• Mr Nick Tzerakis
• Mrs Jan Joseph
• What is meant by the term ‘Mentor’?
• A parent-like teacher, trusted friend,
What is mentorship ?
• Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in
the right direction. John Crosby
Why be a mentor ?
• We make a living by what we get, we make a
life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill
• I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will
forget what you did, but people will never forget how you
made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou
• In the action of great men, others find purpose of their
actions ~ Bhagvad Gita
• Mentorship has being a distinguished tradition
• Aspiring neurosurgeons have been directly
inspired and guided by leading neurosurgeons
through visits, electives, observerships and
• Internet with its multi-media capability provides
a new avenue for mentor-protégé relationship.
Why now ?
• Advances in the information technology allows
ready communication despite geographic
• AANS Resident Mentoring program:
• How do I balance my personal life with the demands of a career in neurosurgery?
• What are the pros and cons of an academic versus private practice neurosurgery
• Should a fellowship be the next step for me after residency?
• What are effective ways to network after residency?
• Did I make the best decision during that surgical procedure? What's your opinion?
Aims of mentorship
• Different perspective
• Non-regulatory relationship
• Counsel from an expert
• Cultural exchange
• Sense of fellowship
Mentor-protégé relationship – another commitment
• More you give, more you get Vs commitments
to other responsibilities
• Recognition of the contribution by the WFNS
What can a Mentor-protégé
• Professional character-building
Who will be eligible to
be a mentor?
• Board certified neurosurgeons of at least 5
Who can be a protégé?
• Neurosurgeons within 5 years of completing
Avoid conflicts with local
• Preference for the mentor and protégé to be in different countries or
different states within a country
• Reassure the departmental program directors that this program would not
in any way supplant the importance of the program director but would
rather complement the mentoring done by the individual programs.
• The role of the WFNS mentors is to be personal professional-counselors
to their protégés.
What is the expectation of
• Utilize a scheme similar to that used by the
‘AANS Resident Mentoring program’
Matching the most suitable
• A questionnaire for the mentor: In-order of importance – What can you
offer? What do you expect?
• A questionnaire for the protégé: In-order of importance – What do you
expect? What do you offer?
• Establish a list of tutors and a list of young surgeons; the young surgeons
may be asked to propose several names from the list of tutors who will
then be contacted.
Match ‘offers’ and ‘expectations’
How is the match made?
• Prospective mentors and protégé apply to the
WFNS. The WFNS makes the ‘match’.
• One mentor may have one protégé. However,
there should be some flexibility on this. A
senior semi-retired neurosurgeon may have
more than one protégé
• A protégé can have only one mentor through
the WFNS program
How long will the mentorprotégé relationship last?
• Can be renewed by mutual consent every two
Role of the WFNS
The WFNS mentorship program would need to be reviewed by a committee
To review the progress of the program
To ensure that there is equal access to the mentorship program for residents and young
neurosurgeons regardless of their locality
The purpose of the committee would be to develop the program including, taking into
account feedback from both mentors and protégés.
To address any unforeseen problems that might arise
The committee should have senior neurosurgeons, young neurosurgeons and residents,
with the chairman being a senior neurosurgeon
• The WFNS mentorship program would only
work efficiently if it is funded to have an
administrator. The administrator would play
the role of a Coordinator.
• Naturally, regular contact between the mentor and protégé would be
essential for a successful mentorship program.
• The contact may be through telephone, e-mail or internet video chat.
• However, from time to time a direct contact, i.e. meeting each other in
person, is important. This could be while attending conferences or the
protégé could spend time with the mentor as in an observership. The
young neurosurgeon may also invite the mentor to his/her practice as
his/her honoured guest to his/her place of work.
Across Borders ..,
• Would aptly resonate with the ethos of ‘World
Neurosurgery, One World, One vision-building