Faculty Member’s Viewpoints about Mentorship in Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, 2012

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Education Development Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IRAN

2 Quality Improvements in Clinical Education Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IRAN

3 Fatemeh (P.B.U.H) Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IRAN

4 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IRAN

Abstract

Background: Mentorship develops a personal relationship in which a more experienced and knowledgeable person helps a less experienced person. In this study we aimed to investigate mentorship status and its impact from viewpoint of clinical professors of Shiraz medical school.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study 99 clinical professors of medicine at Shiraz medical school were investigated using simple random sampling. A valid and reliable questionnaire was used to collect the data .The clinical teacher were asked to tell their viewpoint about mentorship in ideal and real situation. A 5 point Likert scale was used for scoring of the questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 16 software, using t-test, paired t-test, and correlation.
Results: Among the various features, from clinical teachers’ viewpoint "being provocative" was the most important feature of an ideal clinical Mentor (mean score: 4.67, SD: 0.55). Among the effects of mentorship on personality support of the students, in the ideal case, the effect of "accountability incrassation" had the highest mean score (4.91),However teachers believed that in real situation, "stress reduction" of students were the most effective role of mentorship in supporting the students (mean score: 2.76). At career supporting of the students, teachers believed in the ideal state “make motivation towards career" in students had the highest impact (mean score: 4.58). In the real status, "scientific development" and “professional promoting and career success," in student had the highest mean score (2.46).  
Conclusions: Mentoring is  as an important process for the professional development of learners .In today’s situation the most time of mentors are spend of stress reduction of the students, However in ideal situation, positive mentors not only help to shape the professional development of our future physicians by improving the accountability incrassation, they also influence their career choices. To train teachers as a Mentor, we can use short-term courses and workshops and prepare some outlined such as learning and teaching process, adult learning principles, role clarity, setting educational goals, assessment and evaluation of learner and provide feedback
 

Keywords


Introduction

Medicine is one of the leading medical professions in the world, usually faced with many stressors, so medical students are faced with the stressful environment which can adversely affect a person's physical and mental health as well as career advancement .However; these effects can be reduced with proper training (1). On the other hand, Education & learning in clinical sections are important, complicated, and unpredictable. Clinical education is considered to be the core of professional education, since more than 50 percent of students’ time is spent in clinic (2, 3).

Today Mentoring is considered as the most important aspect of the educational experience, and is an important process for improving the professional and lifelong psychological support that can be used to prevent anxiety, promote active learning activities create accountability and improve the confidence (1, 4).

Mentoring is often a long term professional relationship, and beneficial to both parties in which an experienced and knowledgeable person (Mentor) supports a person with less experience (dumplings) (5). Medical Mentoring is a process that fills the gap between education and the real world works. Mentors are experienced but everyone who is experienced and highly skilled is not Mentor. Skilled person offers an ingenious solution to the problem, but Mentor will guide them in the process of problem solving (6, 7).

Mentor and dumplings relationships are called mentorship. Mentorship, in fact, develops a personal relationship in which a more experienced and knowledgeable person helps a little experienced person. It is important to note Mentorship is a broad, long-term relationship between Mentor and student that the main purpose is to help little experienced people in a university. If this system is to be used in medical education, long-term relationship between teacher and student should always be considered (1, 4, 5, 6, and 7).

Mentoring creates job satisfaction, personal satisfaction and higher efficiency for maximum performance, so we should define a clear Mentorship relationship to reach the maximum satisfaction and efficiency. Mentoring has a very broad definition that is used at different times and locations, and includes several titles from the leader of a small group to the school counselor, trainer, supervisor, or a template. All of these have important roles in facilitating the acquisition of practical knowledge (5, 6,8).

Mentor has an important role in the education and socialization of students. Education is not only conveying knowledge but is identification of resources, in order to help students gain the necessary experience and provide formal feedback. Mentor teaches his students how to turn their knowledge into practice and plays the roles of the therapist, consultant, educator, researcher and leader in bedside (4, 9, 10).

In a review article entitled "Mentoring in Medicine) 2006(systematically review the Mentorship issue in medical. It expressed though Mentorship has important influences on job satisfaction, personality, career guidance, research and professional accomplishments and ultimately increases individual productivity, but evidence shows that less than 50% of medical students and 20% of faculty members have Mentor(4).

Mentoring programs on campus would seem to be necessary, also some factors like Unresponsive of Proven capabilities in responding to dynamic and diverse environment, Tendency of Staff and students to grow and develop the capabilities of them in their desired career path and need variety methods to increase knowledge and skills of career, Increasing in importance of tacit knowledge management and knowledge transfer to staff and students during work processes ,The need to immediately take advantage of learning from work experience to achieve optimum performance are the issues that have increased of addressing in Mentor, in today's organizations, especially universities.

Given the importance of Mentorship discussed in medical education and its many benefits and a serious need to efficient Mentoring Programs to improve student career in medical schools, we aimed to investigate mentorship status and its impact, in the viewpoint of clinical professors of medicine at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (6).

Methods
This study is a cross-sectional one. The subjects in this study were clinical professors of medicine at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. The number of clinical professors was 300 and according to statistics advisor the sample size was 99; finally the simple random sampling method was used.

A questionnaire was used to collect data. Face and content validity and reliability of the questionnaire were checked. The questionnaires were completed by 44 teachers as the pilot. At the end of the questionnaire, the participants were asked to mention the problems of scale and ambiguous cases; also a number of them talked orally. So, necessary changes were made in the questionnaire. After a preliminary study, reliability of the questionnaire was approved with Cronbach's alpha coefficient to be 0.8.

The questionnaire consisted of two parts.  The first section was about general demographic information and the second section was about Mentorship and its effects. The first section consists of 15 questions on a 5-choice Likert scale that features an ideal Mentor (such as being a consultant, being a role model,  etc) from a score of 1 (not important) to score 5 (very important). In the second part of the questionnaire we examined the effectiveness of two categories: Mentorship career and personality and psychological support for students (dumplings) within 11 items, 6 items related to personal protection, and 5 items related to their career success. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 16 software. Also we used descriptive statistics (mean, SD, %, Frequency) and analysis statistics (t-test, paired t-test, and correlation).

Results
99 clinical faculties entered this study. 51% of them were male and 49% female. %66 of the faculty was Assistant professor, %24 Associate Professor, 5% Professor and 3% instructor. 80.9% of the participants were familiar with the term mentor; only 12.4% of the participants believed that in clinical field mentors and dumplings should be of the same sex, but 72.2% of faculties stated that it makes no difference.

Among the various features "being provocative (make a deep desire to learn)" was the most important feature (mean score: 4.67) and then "facilitator of learning" (mean score: 4.52) and being a role model (mean score: 4.50) were the most important features of an ideal clinical Mentor. Teachers also believed that the role of "provider of health services (health care)" was the least important feature.

Among the effects of mentorship on personality and psychological support on the students, in the ideal case, and the effect of "accountability incrassation" had the highest mean score (4.91), “Social skills incrassation" of students obtained the lowest mean score (4.35) by clinical faculty. The teachers believed that in real situation, "stress reduction" of students with a mean score of 2.76 and motivating students with a mean score of 2.74 was the most effective role of mentorship in supporting the students and social skills incrassation ' with a mean score of 2.40 was the least effective one (Table 1).

Table 1. Effects of mentorship on personality support of the students in actual and ideal situations.

Real State

Ideal State

Effects of Mentorship at personality supporting of the students in actual and ideal situations.

Average       SD

Average     SD

2.76(1.07)

4.59(.63)

To Decrease stress

2.61(.99)

4.91(4.25)

To Increase accountability

2.69(1.09)

4.55(.72)

To increase Confidence

2.74(1.20)

4.64(.69)

To make motivation

2.40(1.00)

4.35(.75)

To Increase social skills

2.46(.97)

4.38(.71)

To increase Communication skills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At career supporting of the students, teachers believed in the ideal state “make motivation towards career" in students with a mean score of 4.58 had the highest impact, but" deep learning" in students with a mean score of 4.33 had the least effect. In the actual status, "scientific development" and “professional promoting and career success," in student had the highest mean score (2.46) and "deep learning" of students had the lowest one (2.41) (Table 2).

Table 2.  Effects of Mentorship on career supporting of the students in actual and ideal situations

Real State

Ideal State

Effects of Mentorship at career supporting of the students in actual and ideal situation

Average         SD

Average     SD

2.61(1.05)

4.45(.74)

Professional development and career success

2.73(1.03)

4.55(.64)

Academic growth

2.79(1.14)

4.58(.63)

Create professional attitude

2.65(1.06)

4.42(.78)

To increase  Capacity

2.50(1.02)

4.33(.83)

Deep learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Discussion
Today Mentoring is considered as the most important aspect of the educational experience. (4) Process of Mentoring is discussed at the level of professional and psychological support. Professional development helps personal enrichment, a job selection, research improvement and overall it raises the productivity (5, 8, 11).

According to the finding of this study, most of the participants believed here is no problem if the Clinical Mentor and dumplings are of the same sex. Other studies also show that factor such as race, gender, and ethics have no effect on Mentoring (12, 13).

Mentor has an important role in a good Mentoring relationship and plays different roles. Among the various features "being provocative (make a deep desire to learn)" were the most important feature and then "facilitator of learning" and being a role model were the most important features of an ideal clinical Mentor, according to clinical professors of medicine at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. Also teachers believe that the role of "provider of health services (health care)" is the least important feature of a Mentor. In other studies, some roles of mentors such as leader, appraiser, feedback provider, supporter, prokaryotic, and facilitator have also been mentioned for a role model. Mentor motivates the students with guidance and encourages them. Thus, he/she can play an important part in one's success (6, 14, and 15).

Mentorship is effective at two categories of career and psychosocial support of dumplings. Among the effects of mentorship on personality and psychological support of the students, in the ideal case, "accountability incrassation" has the highest mean score but "social skills incrassation" was the lowest mean score given by clinical faculty. This means that in the ideal case, Mentoring causes an increase in the sense of responsibility in students; therefore, they feel responsible to perform their duties and try to do their best. Also in the clinical area they feel responsible toward their patients and consider their rights.  When the person is responsible for performing the duties of the job, he/she might try to do things appropriately, he/she would look for deep learning.

Participants believe that in real situation, currently at Shiraz University of medical sciences, Mentorship has the greatest impact on "stress reduction" and "increasing motivation" but it has the lowest efficacy "in social skills". Medicine as one of the leading medical professions in the world is usually faced with many stressors and medical students are confronted with a stressful environment. This can adversely affect a person's physical and mental health as well as career advancement. Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and motivate the students. In the medical field due to the difficulties, motivation is essential as the driving dynamics. Participants believe that mentoring is less effective than other items to increase social skills in ideal and real conditions.

As to career success in students, we expected mentoring to influence "making a professional attitude to career"; however, at the real situation it has the greatest impact on "scientific development" and "promoting professional and career success". According to the participants, 'deep learning' should be the least effective part of this communication; also this feature has the least impact on students. As a result, to achieve the ideal conditions, Mentors should try more to create a positive attitude towards the medical profession in students. Results of other studies about mentoring are in agreement with results of this study (1, 4, 8, 16, and 17) a systematic review about Mentoring Programs for Physicians in Academic Medicine showed that one barrier to mentoring programs in all over the word is limited resources (18).

The limitation of this study is that we aimed to investigate mentorship status and its impact from viewpoint of clinical professors of Shiraz medical school. We couldn’t observe their behavior in the real situation and we only asked their opinion about mentorship. It would be helpful to evaluate the effectiveness of the mentoring models development in future studies.

Since mentoring role of teachers in education has a good quality, participants should be aware of teaching and learning principles. To train teachers as a Mentor, we can use short-term courses and workshops and prepare some outlined such as learning and teaching process, adult learning principles, role clarity, setting educational goals, assessment and evaluation of learner and provide feedback. : Mentoring is  as an important process for the professional development of learners .In today’s situation the most time of mentors are spend of stress reduction of the students, However in ideal situation, positive mentors not only help to shape the professional development of our future physicians by improving the accountability incrassation, they also influence their career choices. It appears that in selection of university professors as a mentor some principles and criteria such as flexibility and professionalism, enthusiasm toward the students for clinical practice, clinical characteristics and professionalism knowledge, interest in the role of Mentoring and adult learning issues should be considered.

Acknowledgments

Research committee approval and financial support: This paper has been extracted from MSc thesis done by Elahe Mohamadi, MSc student of medical education. The thesis is supported by vice chancellor of research affairs of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences with grant number 6157. 

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests. 

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