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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mentoring during Medical School and Match Outcome among Emergency Medicine Residents

  • Author(s): Dehon, Erin
  • Cruse, Margaret H.
  • Dawson, Brandon
  • Jackson-Williams, Loretta
  • et al.

Introduction: Few studies have documented the value of mentoring for medical students, and research has been limited to more subjective (e.g., job satisfaction, perceived career preparation) rather than objective outcomes. This study examined whether having a mentor is associated with match outcome (where a student matched based on their rank order list [ROL]).

Methods: We sent a survey link to all emergency medicine (EM) program coordinators to distribute to their residents. EM residents were surveyed about whether they had a mentor during medical school. Match outcome was assessed by asking residents where they matched on their ROL (e.g., first choice, fifth choice). They were also asked about rank in medical school, type of degree (MD vs. DO), and performance on standardized tests. Residents who indicated having a mentor completed the Mentorship Effectiveness Scale (MES), which evaluates behavioral characteristics of the mentor and yields a total score. We assessed correlations among these variables using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Post-hoc analysis using independent sample t-test was conducted to compare differences in the MES score between those who matched to their first or second choice vs. third or higher choice.

Results: Participants were a convenience sample of 297 EM residents. Of those, 199 (67%) reported having a mentor during medical school. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no significant correlation between having a mentor and match outcome (r=0.06, p=0.29). Match outcome was associated with class rank (r=0.13, p=0.03), satisfaction with match outcome (r= -0.37, p<0.001), and type of degree (r=0.12, p=0.04). Among those with mentors, a t-test revealed that the MES score was significantly higher among those who matched to their first or second choice (M=51.31, SD=10.13) compared to those who matched to their third or higher choice (M=43.59, SD=17.12), t(194)=3.65, p<0.001, d=0.55.

Conclusion: Simply having a mentor during medical school does not impact match outcome, but having an effective mentor is associated with a more favorable match outcome among medical students applying to EM programs.

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