Effects of mentoring speed dating as an innovative matching tool in undergraduate medical education: A mixed methods study

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Abstract

Objectives Choosing the right mentor is crucial for effective mentorship. Yet, many medical students have difficulties finding a suitable mentor. Thus we developed mentoring speed dating (MSD) as a promising matching tool to connect students and faculty mentors successfully. The purpose of this study was to explore mentees' and mentors' experience with MSD and investigate the impact of MSD on the perceived mentorship quality and continuance of the mentoring relationship. Methods The authors completed a mixed methods study at the University Medical Center Hamburg- Eppendorf, Germany, between June 2011 and March 2014. They conducted four focus groups with mentees and mentors who participated in a mentoring speed dating event and analyzed transcripts using conventional content analysis with inductive categorizing. In addition, three mentoring cohorts (two matched via MSD, one matched via conventional online profiles) were surveyed onmentorship satisfaction and the 1-year continuance of theirmentorship was monitored. Fifteen mentees and fifteen mentors participated in the focus groups. The authors identified several themes such as short and long term benefits ofMSD and fulfillment of expectations. Benefits included finding out about the personal connection, matching expectations, providing an efficient overview of candidates. The survey was completed by 93 students (n = 29 without MSD; n = 64 with MSD). Independent t-tests andmultivariate analysis of variance were used to analyze the impact ofMSD on student's mentorship satisfaction. Results There were significant differences in responses to the items íCommitment of mentor" (p = .019) and íConstructive feedback" (p = .038) among the students who attended MSD and the students without MSD. After one year far more mentoring relationships existed among those mentees who participated in MSD in comparison to the íno MSD group". Conclusion MSD is a valuable matching tool with beneficial effects on the mentorship quality. It enhances essential factors in the mentoring relationship such as commitment and satisfaction.

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Guse, J., Schweigert, E., Kulms, G., Heinen, I., Martens, C., & Guse, A. H. (2016). Effects of mentoring speed dating as an innovative matching tool in undergraduate medical education: A mixed methods study. PLoS ONE, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147444

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