Mentoring stages: A study of undergraduate mentoring in palliative medicine in Singapore.PLoS One. 2019; 14(4):e0214643.Plos
Mentoring nurtures a mentee's personal and professional development. Yet conflation of mentoring approaches and a failure to contend with mentoring's nature makes it difficult to study mentoring processes and relationships. This study aims to understand of mentee experiences in the Palliative Medicine Initiative (PMI). The PMI uses a consistent mentoring approach amongst a homogeneous mentee population offers a unique opportunity to circumnavigate conflation of practices and the limitations posed by mentoring's nature. The data will advance understanding of mentoring processes.
Sixteen mentees discussed their PMI experiences in individual face-to-face audio-recorded interviews. The two themes identified from thematic analysis of interview transcripts were the stages of mentoring and communication.
The 6 stages of mentoring are the 'pre-mentoring stage', 'initial research meetings', 'data gathering', 'review of initial findings, 'manuscript preparation" and 'reflections'. These subthemes sketch the progression of mentees from being dependent on the mentor for support and guidance, to an independent learner with capacity and willingness to mentor others. Each subtheme is described as stages in the mentoring process (mentoring stages) given their association with a specific phase of the research process. Mentoring processes also pivot on effective communication which are influenced by the mentor's characteristics and the nature of mentoring interactions.
Mentoring relationships evolve in stages to ensure particular competencies are met before mentees progress to the next part of their mentoring process. Progress is dependent upon effective communication and support from the mentor and appropriate and timely adaptations to the mentoring approach to meet the mentee's needs and goals. Adaptations to the mentoring structure are informed by effective and holistic evaluation of the mentoring process and the mentor's and mentee's abilities, goals and situations. These findings underline the need to review and redesign the way assessments of the mentoring process are constructed and how mentoring programs are structured.