Free
Education  |   May 2017
Mentorship in Melville
Author Notes
  • From the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. rroy@wakehealth.edu
  • Carol Wiley Cassella, M.D., served as Handling Editor for this submission.
    Carol Wiley Cassella, M.D., served as Handling Editor for this submission.×
  • Accepted for publication September 7, 2016.
    Accepted for publication September 7, 2016.×
Article Information
Education / Mind to Mind / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Ethics / Medicolegal Issues
Education   |   May 2017
Mentorship in Melville
Anesthesiology 5 2017, Vol.126, 980-981. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000001380
Anesthesiology 5 2017, Vol.126, 980-981. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000001380
Comment: Chopra et al. identify six phenotypes for dysfunctional mentorship in their article entitled “Mentorship Malpractice” (Chopra V, Edelson DP, Saint S: Mentorship malpractice. JAMA 2016; 315:1453–4). Ahab exhibits “The Exploiter” phenotype with elements of the “The Possessor” one.
Notes: Herman Melville (1819–1891) is the author of Moby-Dick; or The Whale (1851). The opening line of the novel, “Call me Ishmael,” identifies its narrator. He voluntarily signs on the Pequod and ends up as the sole surviving crew member after the great white whale, Moby-Dick, sinks the Peqoud and all its harpoon boats. Ahab is the “demoniac” captain of the Pequod, who jeopardized the voyage, meant by the ship’s owners to obtain oil from sperm whales, with his single-minded and fatal year-long pursuit of Moby-Dick, who had injured him on an earlier sailing. Crimping or shanghaiing was the common practice in the 1800’s of kidnapping or conscripting sailors to work onboard American ships. Impressment was the term for a similar practice for British ships. Although Ishmael volunteered to sail on the Pequod, he came to feel crimped as the true purpose of the voyage was revealed. One of the harpooners, Queequeg, built and tattooed his own coffin during the voyage but prior to any encounter with Moby-Dick. Right whales are very large baleen whales, which Moby-Dick was not.