Developing Recommendations for Mentoring Programmes in the Undergraduate Health Sciences.
Recommendations for Mentoring Programmes in the Health Sciences
Mentoring is a reciprocal relationship between an academic member of staff and a student for the purpose of supporting personal and professional development. Formal mentoring programmes offer mentoring to all students and are recommended in undergraduate health professionals’ educational training. However, there is little guidance in the literature on considerations when planning a formal mentoring programme. This research aimed to identify the ten most important recommendations of an effective mentoring programme in the undergraduate health sciences. The nominal group technique, a structured consensus group method, was used to generate and rank ideas, with iterative rounds of discussion and ranking. There were ten participants, nine of whom teach in higher education in health sciences and had experience in mentoring and/or delivering mentoring programmes. The top three recommendations related to governance of mentoring programmes (purpose for the programme, quality assurance and provision of an operational manager). Four recommendations related to the needs of the mentee (support services, matching, modeling and stability of the relationship) and three related to the needs of the mentor, with a focus on encouraging and supporting their engagement (training, time, and resources). In conclusion, the nominal group technique was effective in reaching consensus on elements of effective mentoring programmes in the undergraduate health sciences. Further research, through empirical and non-empirical methods, is needed to advance the evidence-base for effective mentoring programmes.
Keywords: Education; Health sciences; Mentees; Mentor; Mentoring; Mentoring programme; Undergraduate.
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