PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Mental Health Sciences I.

A Focus Group Study on Students’ Experiences of the Semmelweis Mentoring Program

Lea Pölczman1, Márk Jámbor1,2, Zsuzsa Győrffy1, György Purebl1, András Végh1,3, Edmond Girasek1

1 Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

3 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Text of the abstract

A focus group study on students’ experiences of the Semmelweis Mentoring Program

Introduction: Medical and health science students face many new challenges during their education. The main aim of training health professionals is to prepare them for their future tasks and responsibilities. Mentoring programs have proved useful in promoting medical and health science education. The Semmelweis Mentoring Program aims to develop the soft skills of students and to promote their personal and professional development.

Aims: The aim of the research was to investigate what outcomes and potential benefits students perceived after participating in the Semmelweis Mentoring Program.

Methods: This qualitative, focus group study was carried out between March and April 2022. The study involved twenty-six medical and health science students who participated as mentors in the mentoring program. Five focus group discussions (FGDs) were formed. FGDs were audio recorded, then transcribed verbatim, and subsequently anonymized. An inductive approach was used in the thematic analysis of the data.

Result: The analysis showed two major themes: personal and professional growth. Mentors reported growth in problem-solving skills, self-confidence, and self-awareness. The mentors highlighted that the mentoring program has strengthened their sense of responsibility, competencies, boundaries, and self-efficacy.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the participants perceived personal and professional benefits and outcomes from participating in the mentoring program. Therefore, the experience gained through mentoring is an important milestone. Through mentoring programs, medical and health students can develop personally and professionally to become the best possible professionals for the future. Mentoring programs have a high added value, and it is worth considering providing such programs in other medical schools.

Funding: No funding was obtained for this study.