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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences


 
 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 269-272

Preference and views of final year medical students on mentoring in Bayero University Kano


1 Department of Paediatrics, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication21-Dec-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mustafa O Asani
Department of Paediatrics, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2349-5006.196329

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  Abstract 

Background: Mentoring is vital to the maturation of individuals, especially early in their careers and aids professional growth. This study was conducted to find out the views of final year students of Bayero University Medical School on mentoring.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study. The students were given a self-administered questionnaire after a careful explanation and consent obtained. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 16 using Chi-square (χ2) and Fischer exact test (F) with a P< 0.05 considered to be significant.
Results: There were a total of 84 students with a male:female ratio of 3.4:1. The age range was between 22 and 42 years with a mean age of 26.4 ± 2.99 years. All the students had formal mentors assigned to them, but none had mentors in the 1st year of school, and only two (2.3%) were assigned mentors in the 2nd year of study. Religion, ethnicity, gender, or specialties of the mentors were not considered important characteristics of mentors by majority of the students, and there was no gender difference in these views. Developing career goals and time management were the priority mentor topics. During the initiation of formal mentoring, only 7 (8.3%) of the students were asked for their goals before being assigned to mentors.
Conclusion: Mentoring should be commenced in the 1st year of study, and mentoring goals should be clearly defined for a successful mentee – mentor relationship.

Keywords: Bayero, Kano, medical students, mentoring, university


How to cite this article:
Asani MO, Umar IH. Preference and views of final year medical students on mentoring in Bayero University Kano. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2016;9:269-72

How to cite this URL:
Asani MO, Umar IH. Preference and views of final year medical students on mentoring in Bayero University Kano. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Dec 6];9:269-72. Available from: http://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2016/9/3/269/196329


  Introduction Top


The word “mentoring” is derived from a character (male guide and trusted friend) in Greek mythology named mentor which means enduring.[1],[2] Taherian and Shekarchian [1] defined mentoring as a process where an experienced, highly regarded, and empathetic individual referred to as the mentor guides the younger (less experienced) individual (mentee or protégé) in the development and reexamination of his or her own ideas, learning, and personal or professional development. Donaldson et al.[3] viewed mentoring as a face-to-face, long-term relationship between a supervisory adult and a novice student that fosters professional, personal, and academic development of the mentee. The definition of Bell is simple and broad; he defined a mentor as someone who helps a protégé learn something that he or she would learned less well, more slowly, or not at all if left alone.[4] Taherian and Shekarchian [1] in their paper concluded that well-conducted and well-timed mentoring provides enormous benefits for mentors, mentees, and the organizations. Mentoring is vital to the maturation of individuals early in their careers and aids professional growth.[5]

Mentoring could be formal or informal. Mentoring is said to be formal when it results from an assignment or matching process between mentor and mentee whereas the informal mentoring does not arise from any formal arrangement.[5] Informal mentoring is the natural coming together of a mentor and protégé.[6] The formal mentoring is further subdivided into traditional, peer, and group mentoring types.[7],[8] Both formal and informal mentoring coexist in Bayero University Medical School. To the authors' knowledge, no study has been conducted on the views of the final year students of Bayero University Medical School on the participants of mentoring.

The benefits of mentoring to medical students, institution, and society cannot be overemphasized. There is, therefore, the necessity of a need assessment of mentoring among students so as to improve the mentoring system in the school.


  Materials and Methods Top


This was a cross-sectional observational study involving the final year clinical students of the Bayero University Medical School, Kano. The faculty of Clinical Sciences of the institution offers a formal (traditional) mentoring program by assigning mentors to the students at the beginning of a clinical posting in the four major clinical departments (medicine, surgery, obstetrics, and gynecology and pediatrics) while peer mentoring is a mentoring relationship between two students though similar in rank, but the peer mentor is more experienced in knowledge and skills. Ethical approval was sought from the appropriate authority of the university. The students were given self-administered questionnaires after a careful explanation of the research objectives following which consent was obtained. The questionnaire was modified from the works of Charles [7] which has an alpha reliability coefficient level of 0.78 indicating reliability. The questionnaire administered was divided into four subsections. The first subsection involved basic biodata, and the subsequent subsections contained questions on mentoring, types offered and when, and effect of this mentoring among other things.

Data analysis

All data derived from the study were entered into Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, analyzed by the use of frequencies and percentages. The difference between the gender was analyzed by SPSS version 16 (SPSS, Inc., Chigaco, USA) with the use of Chi-square (χ2) and Fischer exact test (F) wherever an expected frequency is <5. A P < 0.05 considered significant.


  Results Top


There were a total of 98 students in the final MBBS class of 2015, 84 of them responded to the questionnaire giving a response rate of 85.7%. Of this number, 65 (66.3%) were males while 19 (19.4%) were females with a male:female ratio of 3.4:1. The age range was between 22 and 42 years with a mean age of 26.4 ± 2.99 years. Ten (11.9%) of the total 84 respondents were married while 74 (88.1%) were single [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of the students

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Formal mentoring (traditional)

All the students had formal mentors assigned to them, with over a third (39%) being assigned mentors in their final year; 27 (32.1%) were assigned mentors in their final year. None had mentors in the 1st year of school, and only two (2.3%) were assigned mentors in the 2nd year of study. Fifty-one (60.7%) of the respondents perceived formal mentoring as a factor for success. Only 7 (8.3%) were asked for their goals before being assigned to a mentor.

Formal mentoring (peer)

Twenty (23.8%) of the students did not have any peer mentor while 64.3% have between one and ten peer mentors during their clinical years. Ten students did not respond to this question. Fifty-eight (69.0%) of the respondents perceived peer mentoring to be a factor for their success in academics.

Informal mentoring

Forty-six (54.8%) perceived informal mentoring as factor for success though only 35 (41.7%) admitted to having informal mentors.

Students' views on mentors' characteristics

Students' views on mentors' characteristics were compared between both genders [Table 2]. Fifty (59.5%) of the students had no gender preference, and less than a quarter (21.4%) of the respondents preferred same gender mentors. A quarter of the students did not respond to this question. No characteristic was found to be significantly significant between both genders.
Table 2: Students' views on mentor characteristics by gender

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Areas of need in mentoring

In [Figure 1], developing career goals and time management are the top priorities among the students. Others include managing stress, making ethical decisions, professional networking, and fiWnding research topics.
Figure 1: Frequencies of areas of need in mentoring

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  Discussion Top


In this study, all the students had formal mentoring (traditional) while some in addition have informal and peer mentoring. This is a positive finding since mentoring is a vital tool for career advancement for medical students.[8] Our finding is in contrast to the findings by Aagaard and Hauer [9] who observed that only a third of the students had mentors. Their study was carried out among the 3rd and 4th year students of the University of California, San Francisco. This may be because the students were actively involved in seeking for mentors and were not formally assigned as in our practice.

It is instructive to note that only 2.3% of the students had any formal mentoring in the first 2 years of study. This is because formal mentoring was introduced and enforced into the medical school, few years ago. Ideally, mentoring should be started early in the program because new entrants are vulnerable to challenges in the medical curriculum.[10] Over half of the students, 54.8%, 60.7%, and 69% are of the view that informal, formal, and peer mentoring, respectively, were key factors in their academic success in the medical school. This view is in conformity with the widely held belief that mentoring promotes academic success.[1],[5],[11],[12],[13]

The views of the students on the characteristics of the mentors are quite revealing. Although studies on this participant are scarce, Strayhorn and Saddler [14] found out that gender of the mentors was not considered as an important factor in the choice of mentors by students. The difference in views of the male and female students on mentors' characteristics was found not to be statistically significant. The predominantly male student population may have affected the outcome, but Bell-Ellison and Dedrick [15] also noted that there was no gender difference on the views of their preferred mentors' characteristics.

During the process of initiation of formal mentoring, only 7 (8.3%) of the students were asked for their goals before being assigned to a mentor. Mentees should be encouraged to have clearly defined goals in their career as a prerequisite for a successful mentee – mentor relationship.[15],[16] Developing career goals and time management are the top priorities among the students in the areas of need in mentoring. These mentor topics are essential for the mutual and long-term benefits of the relationship.[4]


  Conclusion Top


All final year medical students of the institution are involved in the traditional form of formal mentoring, but only very few commenced mentoring early in their careers. Religion, ethnicity, gender, or specialties of the mentors are not considered important characteristics of mentors by the majority of the students. There was no gender difference in these views, and developing career goals and time management are the priority mentor topics among the students. The process of mentoring should be commenced early, and mentoring goals should be clearly identified for a successful mentee – mentor relationship.

Limitation

The result of this study cannot be generalized to other medical schools in the country since it was conducted in only our institution. The study also depended on responses obtained from a self-administered questionnaire which may be influenced by memory.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Taherian K, Shekarchian M. Mentoring for doctors. Do its benefits outweigh its disadvantages? Med Teach 2008;30:e95-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Dunnington GL. The art of mentoring. Am J Surg; 1996;171:604 -706  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Donnaldson S, Ensher E, Grant-Vallone E. Longitudinal examination of mentoring relationships on organizational commitment and citizenship behavior. J Career Dev 2000;26:233-49.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Bell CR. The mentor as partner. Train Dev 2000;54:52.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Garmel GM. Mentoring medical students in academic emergency medicine. Acad Emerg Med 2004;11:1351-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Inzer LD, Crawford CB. A review of formal and informal mentoring: Processess, problems and design. J Leadersh Educ 2005;4:31-50.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Charles C. Perceptions of Mentoring from Fourth Year Medical Students. Graduate Thesis and Dissertations; 2014. Available from: http://www.scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/4998. [Last assessed on 2016 Oct 28].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Heller MP, Sindelar NW. Developing an effective teacher mentor program. Fastback 319. In: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. Bloomington: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation; 1991.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Frei E, Stamm M, Buddeberg-Fischer B. Mentoring programs for medical students – a review of the PubMed literature 2000-2008. BMC Med Educ 2010;10:32.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Aagaard EM, Hauer KE. A cross-sectional descriptive study of mentoring relationships formed by medical students. J Gen Intern Med 2003;18:298-302.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Bhatia A, Singh N, Dhaliwal U. Mentoring for first year medical students: Humanising medical education. Indian J Med Ethics 2013;10:100-3.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Ramanan RA, Phillips RS, Davis RB, Silen W, Reede JY. Mentoring in medicine: Keys to satisfaction. Am J Med 2002;112:336-41.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Cain JM, Schulkin J, Parisi V, Power ML, Holzman GB, Williams S. Effects of perceptions and mentorship on pursuing a career in academic medicine in obstetrics and gynecology. Acad Med 2001;76:628-34.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Strayhorn TL, Saddler TN. Mentoring relationships on satisfaction with college among African Americans. Afr Am Stud 2009;13:476-93.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Bell-Ellison BA, Dedrick RF. What do doctoral students value in their ideal mentors? Res High Educ 2008;49:555-67.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Zerzan JT, Hess R, Schur E, Phillips RS, Rigotti N. Making the most of mentors: A guide for mentees. Acad Med 2009;84:140-4.  Back to cited text no. 16
    


    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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