STS Expands Resources for Early Career Members

STS News, Spring 2017 -- The Society is ramping up efforts to support career development for cardiothoracic surgeons.

The new STS Workforce on Career Development was created to address the specific career needs of members in their first 7 years of practice. “The development and success of our early career members is an important objective for STS. We are providing resources for those seeking guidance navigating the obstacles of early clinical or academic practice,” said Workforce Chair Vinay Badhwar, MD.

One of the Workforce’s first projects was to develop a series of answers to frequently asked questions, including clinical interactions, program development, personal finances, contracting, and research. The FAQs are available on the STS website at www.sts.org/career-development. The Workforce also plans to hold quarterly Twitter chats, during which Workforce members and other Society leaders will discuss early career issues in this open social media forum. The first Twitter chat is planned for Wednesday, May 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET; follow @CTSurgCareers for more information.

“The development and success of our early career members is an important objective for STS.”

Vinay Badhwar, MD

Mentorship Is Key

Another project involves the development of an early career mentorship service. The plan is to develop a Mentorship Portal on the Society’s website with a roster of surgeons who have volunteered to provide expert, one-on-one assistance on a broad array of topics. STS members will be able to log into the portal, find the type of mentorship they need based on a menu of mentor types and topics, and be connected with a relevant mentor.

The Society has a long history of supporting mentorship, particularly through its Looking to the Future (LTTF) Scholarship Program, which connects medical students and general surgery residents with surgeon mentors while at the STS Annual Meeting. Many of the LTTF scholarship participants have continued their relationships with their mentors long after the meeting. Now, the goal is to expand this valuable experience to a wider audience.

“Mentorship has always provided a pivotal role in my career and those of nearly all of my colleagues,” Dr. Badhwar said. "Whether it be from a senior colleague, partner, friend, or spouse, the knowledge and input from respected individuals helps one navigate challenges and shape your path forward.”

Dr. Badhwar encouraged STS members who are more advanced in their careers to volunteer as mentors once the opportunity is available. “By volunteering to become a STS Early Career Mentor, your experience can directly help shape the future of our younger members,” he said.

More information will be provided in STS News and other Society communications as the mentor portal is developed.

View Tips on How to Build Your Academic Career
The latest video in the Society’s roundtable series focuses on building a career in academics. Watch Drs. Richard L. Prager, Leah M. Backhus, Douglas J. Mathisen, and G. Alexander Patterson discuss how they were influenced to pursue academic careers and provide advice on finding a good mentor.