Original Article

CME Article: Prevalence of, Qualities, and Barriers Associated with Mentoring Relationships from Medical Students’ Perspective: A Multi-Institutional Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Andrew Sephien, MD, Leigh Hatch, MD, Jordan Karsch, MD, Karim Hanna, MD, Ambuj Kumar, MD, Danielle Gulick, PhD

Abstract

Objectives: Reports of medical student mentorship prevalence range between 26% and 77%. This broad range likely reflects the tendencies of studies to focus on specific populations of medical students. There is little consensus about the characteristics of mentoring relationships among medical students. The primary goal of this study was to determine the reported prevalence of mentorship among medical students in the United States. The secondary goals were to assess the desired qualities of and barriers to successful mentoring from a medical student perspective.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was administered via Qualtrics to all medical students at participating accredited medical schools from July 2018 to March 2019. The questionnaire contained a subsection of questions that assessed the existence of mentoring, facilitators, and barriers in finding a mentor, and the desired qualities of a successful mentor.

Results: With a 94% completion rate, 369 (69%) of 532 medical students reported having a mentor. Adjusted analysis showed that fourth-year medical students were significantly more likely to have a mentor compared with first-year (odds ratio [OR] 2.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.49–4.73, P = 0.001), second-year (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.14–3.76, P = 0.016), and third-year medical students (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.2–3.90, P = 0.011). Compassion (64%) was the most commonly reported quality in a successful mentoring relationship. Lack of time from mentor (75%) was the most commonly reported barrier.

Conclusions: This study may serve as a guide to fostering more supportive mentoring relationships. Each mentoring relationship should be tailored to the needs of the mentee, however.

This content is limited to qualifying members.

Existing members, please login first.

If you have an existing account please login now to access this article or view your purchase options.

Purchase only this article ($15)

Create a free account, then purchase this article to download or access it online for 24 hours.

Purchase an SMJ online subscription ($75)

Create a free account, then purchase a subscription to get complete access to all articles for a full year.

Purchase a membership plan (fees vary)

Premium members can access all articles plus recieve many more benefits. View all membership plans and benefit packages.

References

1. Mulcahey MK, Waterman BR, Hart R, et al. The role of mentoring in the development of successful orthopaedic surgeons. J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2018;26:463–471.
 
2. Pellegrini VD Jr. Mentoring: our obligation ... our heritage. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2009;91:2511–2519.
 
3. Sheri K, Too JYJ, Chuah SEL, et al. A scoping review of mentor training programs in medicine between 1990 and 2017. Med Educ Online 2019;24: 1555435.
 
4. Akinla O, Hagan P, Atiomo W. A systematic review of the literature describing the outcomes of near-peer mentoring programs for first year medical students. BMC Med Educ 2018;18:98.
 
5. Drusin LM, Gerber LM, Miller CH, et al. An advisory program for first- and second-year medical students: the Weill Cornell experience. Med Educ Online 2013;18:22684.
 
6. Aagaard EM, Hauer KE. A cross-sectional descriptive study of mentoring relationships formed by medical students. J Gen Intern Med 2003;18:298–302.
 
7. Park JJH, Adamiak P, Jenkins D, et al. The medical students’ perspective of faculty and informal mentors: a questionnaire study. BMC Med Educ 2016;16:4.
 
8. Barker JC, Rendon J, Janis JE. Medical student mentorship in plastic surgery: the mentee's perspective. Plast Reconstr Surg 2016;137:1934–1942.
 
9. Dehon E, Cruse MH, Dawson B, et al. Mentoring during medical school and match outcome among emergency medicine residents. West J Emerg Med 2015;16:927–930.
 
10. Ogdie A, Sparks JA, Angeles-Han ST, et al. Barriers and facilitators of mentoring for trainees and early career investigators in rheumatology research: current state, identification of needs, and road map to an inter-institutional adult rheumatology mentoring program. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2018;70:445–453.
 
11. Straus SE, Johnson MO, Marquez C, et al. Characteristics of successful and failed mentoring relationships: a qualitative study across two academic health centers. Acad Med 2013;88:82–89.
 
12. Leary JC, Schainker EG, Leyenaar JK. The unwritten rules of mentorship: facilitators of and barriers to effective mentorship in pediatric hospital medicine. Hosp Pediatr 2016;6:219–225.
 
13. Cho CS, Ramanan RA, Feldman MD. Defining the ideal qualities of mentorship: a qualitative analysis of the characteristics of outstanding mentors. Am J Med 2011;124:453–458.
 
14. Murr AH, Miller C, Papadakis M. Mentorship through advisory colleges. Acad Med 2002;77:1172–1173.
 
15. Eysenbach G. Improving the quality of Web surveys: the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES). J Med Internet Res 2004;6:e34.
 
16. Frei E, Stamm M, Buddeberg-Fischer B. Mentoring programs for medical students—a review of the PubMed literature 2000–2008.BMCMed Educ 2010;10:32.
 
17. Sambunjak D, Straus SE, Marusic A. A systematic review of qualitative research on the meaning and characteristics of mentoring in academic medicine. J Gen Intern Med 2010;25:72–78.
 
18. US Census Bureau. Census Regions and Divisions of the United States. https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/reference/us_regdiv.pdf. Accessed October 9, 2021.
 
19. Tan YS, Teo SWA, Pei Y, et al. A framework for mentoring of medical students: thematic analysis of mentoring programmes between 2000 and 2015. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2018;23:671–697.
 
20. Provencher MT. On the importance of mentorship. Orthopedics 2009;32. DOI 10.3928/01477447-20090401-05.
 
21. DeFilippis E, Cowell E, Rufin M, et al. Innovative mentoring for female medical students. Clin Teach 2016;13:381–382.
 
22. de Vries-Erich JM, Dornan T, Boerboom TB, et al. Dealing with emotions: medical undergraduates' preferences in sharing their experiences. Med Educ 2016;50:817–828.
 
23. Association of American Medical Colleges. Total Enrollment by U.S. Medical School and Sex, 2010-2011 through 2014–2015. 2019. Available at: https://www.aamc.org/system/files/2021-11/2021_FACTS_Table_B-1.1.pdf. Accessed October 28, 2021.