Mentoring in Medical Contexts

Ehrich, Lisa C., Hansford, Brian C., & Tennent, Lee (2003) Mentoring in Medical Contexts. In British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, 11-13 September 2003, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. (Unpublished)


The mentoring relationship has been described as an invaluable learning process for beginners as well as experienced practitioners such as teachers, administrators, nurses, doctors, managers, and other professionals. In previous research, we conducted a structured review of mentoring in business contexts (Hansford, Tennent and Ehrich, 2002) and in education contexts (Hansford, Tennent and Ehrich, in press) in an attempt to understand more fully the elusive meaning and nature of mentoring. We were also interested in identifying positive and negative outcomes for participants in mentoring programs. The results of these studies prompted us to investigate whether mentoring programs were as commonplace in or resulted in similar outcomes to other professions, such as medicine and law.

In this paper, we focus on mentoring in medical contexts. The study reports on the findings from our analysis of 82 articles published between 1995 to 2002 that relate to mentoring in medical contexts. Our analysis revealed that the majority of these articles were descriptive in nature. These articles generally recommended that mentoring was a positive learning activity for medical practitioners and specialists alike. However, very few of these articles reported original research findings. This paper, then, examines the database of medical articles in order to draw inferences about the meaning and scope of mentoring in medical contexts and its positive and negative outcomes for those involved. We highlight the diversity of issues raised during mentoring sessions between mentors and mentee general practitioners and describe some of the functions that mentoring performs. We also describe several case studies of mentoring programs that illustrate the different types of mentoring programs that have been utilised in the medical field. These include mentoring of junior staff in medical schools, hospitals and universities; mentoring of overseas doctors and novice doctors; mentoring for minority group members within university environments; and peer mentoring arrangements for general practitioners.

We also make some comparisons between mentoring in medical, education and business contexts. This includes comparing and contrasting the positive and negative outcomes from mentoring across the different contexts. The paper concludes with a discussion of several critical issues planners of mentoring programs in medical contexts should consider.

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ID Code: 2894
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Mentoring, mentor, mentee, hospitals, training, doctors, nurses, university, medical, education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Care Administration (111709)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 13 Dec 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:29

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