Answer to "What are positive outcomes of mentoring programmes ?"


Topic Editor: Sylvia Heeneman

Several studies have reported beneficial outcomes of mentoring programmes in academic medicine, such as positive effects  in terms of personal development, self-directed learning, workplace-based learning, and career success (Buddeberg-Fischer & Herta, 2006; Sambunjak et al. 2006; Overeem et al. 2009; van Schaik et al. 2013; Driessen & Overeem, 2013).

One of these studies is the comprehensive review of Sambunjak et al. (2006), herein eight studies were identified that investigated the effect of mentoring on career guidance, and personal development, of these eight studies, five reported that mentoring was considered as important factor in career- enhancement factor for students, post-graduated, and physicians in various disciplines. In a follow-up review, Sambunjak et al. (2010) reported that mentorship is important to guide the students’ choice of specialty training. In addition, it was shown mentoring had an important effect  on research guidance, productivity, and success.

Mentoring has also been shown to be effective in the support of work- place-based learning and have positive outcomes therein, e.g. the presence of a mentoring process was a strong positive predicator of improvement after a multisource feedback procedure in General Practice medicine (Overeem et al. 2009).

In addition to the positive outcomes for mentees, benefits have also been described for the mentor, such as a better understanding of the institute (Eby & Lockwood, 2005), and a personal learning experience of the mentor (Allen & Eby, 2003). Mentors in academic medicine benefited from the network of mentors and improved their coaching skills, such as presenting feed- back and interviewing skills (Connor et al. 2000; Overeem et al. 2010).

Longitudinal studies that follow the development or qualities of mentees after graduation or training, are required to firmly establish the long-term benefits or positive effects of mentoring processes on the mentees and mentors .



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van Schaik S, Plant J, O'Sullivan P (2013). Promoting self-directed learning through portfolios in undergraduate medical education: the mentors' perspective. Med Teach, 35:139-44.