Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A cross-sectional descriptive study of mentoring relationships formed by medical students

  • 97 Accesses

  • 74 Citations


To describe medical students’ mentoring relationships and determine characteristics associated with having mentors, 232/302 (77%) of third- and fourth-year medical students at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) were surveyed. Twenty-six percent of third-year and 45% of fourth-year students had mentors. Most met their mentors during inpatient clerkships (28%), research (19%), or sought them on the basis of similar interests (23%). On multivariate analysis, students who performed research prior to (odds ratio [OR], 4.8; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.4 to 16.7; P=.01) or during medical school (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 5.6; P=.03) and students satisfied with advising from all sources at UCSF (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4 to 2.4; P<.001) were more likely to have mentors.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


  1. 1.

    Rogers J, Holloway R, Miller S. Academic mentoring and family medicine’s research productivity. Fam Med. 1990;22:186–90.

  2. 2.

    Schapira MM, Kalet A, Schwartz MD, Gerrity MS. Mentorship in General Internal Medicine: investment in our future. J Gen Intern Med. 1992;7:248–51.

  3. 3.

    Cronan-Hillix T, Gensheimer L, Cronan-Hillix W, Davidson W. Students’ views of mentors in psychology graduate training. Teach Psychol. 1986;13:123–7.

  4. 4.

    Mann MP. Faculty mentors for medical students: a critical review. Med Teach. 1992;14:311–19.

  5. 5.

    Wright SM, Kern DE, Kolodner K, Howard DM, Brancati FL. Attributes of excellent attending-physician role models. N Engl J Med. 1998;339:1986–93.

  6. 6.

    Sachdeva AK. Preceptorship, mentorship, and the adult learner in medical and health sciences education. J Cancer Educ. 1996;11:131–6.

  7. 7.

    Cunningham JB, Eberle T. Characteristics of the mentoring experience: a qualitative study. Personnel Rev. 1993;22:54–66.

  8. 8.

    Hunt DM, Michael C. Mentorship: a career training and development tool. Acad Manage Rev. 1983;8:475–85.

  9. 9.

    Bolam R, McMahon A, Pocklington K, Weindling D. Mentoring for new head teachers: recent British experience. J Edu Admin. 1995;33:29–44.

  10. 10.

    Ricer RE, Fox BC, Miller KE. Mentoring for medical students interested in family practice. Fam Med. 1995;27:360–5.

  11. 11.

    Southworth G. Reflections on mentoring for new school leaders. J Edu Admin. 1995;33:17–28.

  12. 12.

    Taylor LJ. A survey of mentor relationships in academe. J Prof Nurs. 1992;8:48–55.

  13. 13.

    Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President-Academic Affairs. Annual Academic Personnel Statistics, University of California 1999-00. Available at: http://www.ucop.edu/acadadv/datamgmt/9900stat/welcome.html. Accessed September 25, 2002.

  14. 14.

    Wakeford R, Lyon J, Evered D, Saunders N. Where do medically qualified researchers come from? Lancet. 1985;2:262–5.

  15. 15.

    Shapiro J, Coggan P, Rubel A, Morohasi D, Fitzpatrick C, Dangue F. The process of faculty-mentored student research in family medicine: motives and lessons. Fam Med. 1994;26:283–9.

  16. 16.

    Bright CM, Duefield CA, Stone VE. Perceived barriers and biases in the medical education experience by gender and race. J Natl Med Assoc. 1998;90:681–8.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Karen E. Hauer MD.

Additional information

This research was supported in part by Health Resources and Services Administration Faculty Development Grant D08 PE50109.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Aagaard, E.M., Hauer, K.E. A cross-sectional descriptive study of mentoring relationships formed by medical students. J GEN INTERN MED 18, 298–302 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.20334.x

Download citation

Key words

  • mentors
  • questionnaires
  • education
  • medical
  • undergraduate