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18.10.2017 | Teachers and Surgeons of the Past | Ausgabe 1/2018

Indian Journal of Surgery 1/2018

Mentoring in Surgery—Mentor, Parshuram, Dronacharya, Krishan

Indian Journal of Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2018
Brij B. Agarwal, Nayan Agarwal, Neeraj Dhamija, Chintamani


Success in any profession has no well-defined predictors. Knowledge, skills, training, and talent come in plenty but fail at times to achieve the universal goal of success. Some attribute it to luck. Apart from the tangible ingredients of a successful career, the intangibles like luck or something ill-defined is a real challenge. The intangibles seem like a chasm, an abyss, or a phantom obstacle. Presence of a guiding spirit who can handhold you to overcome these is essential for success. The aim of a professional is to learn, earn, and yearn for creativity. Practice of surgery is an ideal career to pursue the learning, earning, and yearning. More than any other profession, the guiding handholding spirit is required in surgical profession, the concept of mentoring. Originating from the Greco-Roman times when kind Odysseus left his son Telemachus under the care of his friend, mentor, it has become a universal defining necessity for a successful career in surgery. Indian history replete with such examples of mentorship, good as in the case of Dronacharya to Kaurvas but bad as denied by an able, competent, aspiring student like Eklavya. In the medical profession, there are very few Indian role models of mentorship. One name that comes to our mind is Dr. Krishan Mahajan. The more said is less revealed about him. “Knife before wife” was his commonly spoken advice to all who sought his mentorship. “Hard work is not easy but it is fair” so said a famous boxer, Larry Holmes. It is more than true for our profession as it is better to prepare and prevent, rather than repair and repent.

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