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Hospital doctors’ Opinions regarding educational Utility, public Sentiment and career Effects of Medical television Dramas: the HOUSE MD study

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A career in medicine has long been considered an apprenticeship, with mentors providing guidance to their trainees. The word mentor finds its origins in Greek mythology. In Homer’s Odyssey, the confidant of king Odysseus, Mentor, was trusted to guide his son and oversee his education while Odysseus fought in the Trojan War.1

The modern practice of medicine, with an emphasis on shift work, has made the classical mentor–mentee relationship more challenging,2 but the modelling of one’s practice on observed social and clinical traits of a mentor or role model remains.3 Moreover, such exposures can be factors in students’ decisions to pursue a career in medicine and even in their subsequent choice of specialty.4

The eventual choice of role model is often a personal one and may not even involve one’s own supervising senior, although it is often based on clinical experiences.5 While knowledge and clinical competence have been cornerstones of role model selection, growing evidence suggests that factors relating to personality such as compassion, good communication and enthusiasm may in fact have more influence on the expanding minds of trainees.6 Further compounding this, in some educational situations, less…