What Do Medical Students Want From a Mentor? Article

Minor, Suzanne, Bonnin, Rodolfo. (2022). What Do Medical Students Want From a Mentor? . 6 36. 10.22454/primer.2022.552177

cited authors

  • Minor, Suzanne; Bonnin, Rodolfo


  • Introduction

    The medical education literature lacks a uniform definition of mentoring. Mentoring relationships benefit the mentor and mentee. Mentoring roles include coach, advisor, teacher, counselor, and sponsor in the setting of mutual trust toward impacting psychosocial and career functions for the mentee. Mentoring helps improve underrepresented minority medical student performance. Medical students value mentoring relationships. Student mentees note a positive influence on career planning and research and saw mentors as counselors, idea providers, and role models. Medical students' varied goals and development call for personalized, flexible mentoring.


    This study sought to expand the current understanding of medical student mentoring. We emailed a voluntary Qualtrics survey to second-, third-, and fourth-year medical students at the Florida International University (FIU) Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine asking, "What do you want from a mentor (choose all that apply)?" Multiple choice options were constructed based upon literature search. We conducted one-way analysis of variance and Tukey's test to identify whether mentoring preferences differed by student academic year.


    Of 363 students, 171 responded (47% response rate). Top-rated responses included honest feedback, responsiveness, and professional connections or networking opportunities.


    Student desire for honest feedback from mentors was prioritized, affirming the lack of need for impression management in the mentoring relationship. This investigation will be useful for specific mentoring relationships, helping to trigger discussion regarding specific mentoring hopes and training mentors.

publication date

  • January 1, 2022

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


  • Electronic-eCollection

start page

  • 36


  • 6