Evaluation of Mentoring Skills by Mentees using the Mentoring Competency Assessment (MCA) Instrument at an Undergraduate Medical School in Lahore

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Fatima Zia Zaidi
Mohamed Al Eraky
Danish Islam



Background: Mentoring, a committed relationship has established its significance in the field of undergraduate medical education. Mentors invest in their protégés’ personal and professional development, beyond the realm of teaching. The mentors and the organization also gain a multitude of benefits. Formal mentoring is considered to have more advantages. Recruiting mentors should be thoughtful and mentors should be trained for their job. The assessment of mentor’s competence remains a challenge and many instruments have been tried for this purpose. Evaluation can help identify areas for training. The Mentoring Competence Assessment inventory developed by Fleming et al. focused on measuring six main competencies of a mentor-mentee relationship. Since these competencies overlap with the objectives of more general mentoring programs, this tool can be adapted to measure outcomes. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at The University of Lahore. The Mentoring Competence Assessment instrument was used with appropriate modification. Volunteers filled in an online questionnaire. 129 students responded, out of which 97 completed responses were considered. Response scores were added to calculate score for each competency. Correlational analysis was performed for competence and seniority. Cross gender mentoring was also compared to same gender mentoring. Results: The high scoring competencies in the order of ratings they attained are: maintaining effective communication, fostering independence, promoting professional development and aligning expectations, whereas assessing understanding and addressing diversity were rated at less than fifty percent, indicating areas for faculty development training. Almost 80% students rated high on how much they had benefitted from their mentor. They also felt their mentor helped them the most by motivating them, by being a good listener and by guiding them. Mentees believed their mentoring relationship was uncomfortable due to group mentoring, seniority bias, and lack of time. The mentor’s gender had no significant effect on all the six competencies. Conclusion: Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship and is most beneficial when started at an early stage. The mentoring program should be relevant to local perspectives and cultural issues. To prevent misunderstandings, mentors should acknowledge the differences of gender & cultural background. Mentors should be monetarily rewarded for their contribution to medical education. Educating & empowering students, along with faculty education regarding students’ needs may improve mentoring.

Keywords: Mentorship, Competence, Assessment, Undergraduate Medical Students

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How to Cite
Zaidi, F., Al Eraky, M., & Islam, D. (2019). Evaluation of Mentoring Skills by Mentees using the Mentoring Competency Assessment (MCA) Instrument at an Undergraduate Medical School in Lahore. Health Professions Educator Journal, 1(1), 30 - 37. https://doi.org/10.53708/hpej.v1i1.32