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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 239-240  

Mentoring medical teachers for improving the quality of teaching in India


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission23-Sep-2019
Date of Decision27-Nov-2019
Date of Acceptance06-Jan-2020
Date of Web Publication3-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_266_19

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  Abstract 


Once a medical postgraduate student is conferred with their degree, it is certified that they are specialists in their subject, but the same degree does not account for their expertise in being a medical teacher. Mentoring has been acknowledged as an effective approach and has the potential to benefit all the involved stakeholders, namely mentee, mentor and the institution. The basic purpose of mentoring is to extend support, guidance and advice to the faculty members to refine their teaching skills and grow professionally. In conclusion, mentoring program for faculty members aids them to be more confident and enhance their teaching skills and professional growth. From the institution's perspective, it is extremely useful as we are creating a pool of teachers who will be playing a defining role in shaping the career of budding doctors.

Keywords: Faculty development, medical education, mentoring


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Mentoring medical teachers for improving the quality of teaching in India. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2021;14:239-40

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Mentoring medical teachers for improving the quality of teaching in India. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 13];14:239-40. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2021/14/2/239/310585




  Introduction Top


Once a medical postgraduate student is conferred with their degree, it is certified that they are specialists in their subject, but the same degree does not account for their expertise in being a medical teacher.[1] However, on the very next day, a recently passed postgraduate student becomes a teacher and is bestowed with the responsibility of molding the careers of undergraduate/ postgraduate medical students. This is practically unreasonable as even though these new faculty members might be a rich source of clinical/subject knowledge, the needs of the budding medical students are quite variable.[1]

Current status

In other words, a newly passed postgraduate student, who can now be called as a specialist, has to learn a lot from being a specialist to become a competent teacher. Under any circumstances, upon entry into a new workplace, the initial timeframe is an encouraging period for a faculty member, wherein they will be excited to sharpen their professional skills, including teaching skills. It won't be wrong to say that, in the current scenario, most of the professional development happens informally with regard to the interaction with the colleagues and senior faculty members in the department. However, this form of learning is quite variable and does not warrant constructive growth always.[1],[2]

Mentoring and its attributes

Mentoring has been acknowledged as an effective approach and has the potential to benefit all the involved stakeholders, namely mentee, mentor, and institution.[2] Even though, in the current setup in medical education, the term mentoring is often associated with mentoring of students to help them become competent students, mentoring definitely acts as a catalyst in the transformation of a faculty member to become a good teacher.[1],[2],[3] However, the outcome of the program will be affected by a wide range of factors, namely coordination and cooperation among faculties, medical education unit, selection of an effective mentor who is skilled and competent enough, the willingness of the faculty member to be a mentor or mentee, time constraints, support from stakeholders, etc.[2],[3]

Purpose of mentoring

The basic purpose of mentoring is to extend support, guidance, and advice to the faculty members to refine their teaching skills and grow professionally.[3] The process of mentoring does not limit only with the identification of the needs/interests but also with the identification of their strengths/weaknesses, planning the growth, observing their teaching styles during microteaching sessions, exposure to newer modes of teaching–learning (viz., elearning, interactive methods, etc.), periodical reviews, etc.[2],[3],[4],[5] In fact, the organization of mentoring activities in a structured format significantly improves employee retention and enhances job satisfaction and obviously career progression.[2],[3]


  Role of Medical Education Unit Top


The medical education unit of the institution can play a pivotal role in the entire mentoring process through the organization of needdriven periodic faculty development programs.[5] Moreover, the role of senior faculty members in the department is quite crucial as they have the opportunity to interact with newly joined faculty members on a daily basis.[2] The overall effectiveness of mentoring can be enhanced by the use of experiential learning, provision of timely feedback, encouraging faculty members to reflect, employment of targeted interventions, cordial relationships between colleagues, and exposure to a diverse range of educational methods.[2],[3],[4] Further, for the success of the program, immense support is required from the administrators/management in terms of planning and funding all the structured initiatives.[3],[4]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, mentoring program for faculty members aids them to be more confident and enhance their teaching skills and professional growth. From the institution's perspective, it is extremely useful as we are creating a pool of teachers who will be playing a defining role in shaping the career of budding doctors.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Steinert Y, Macdonald ME. Why physicians teach: Giving back by paying it forward. Med Educ 2015;49:773-82.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Reid TP, Hinderer KA, Jarosinski JM, Mister BJ, Seldomridge LA. Expert clinician to clinical teacher: Developing a faculty academy and mentoring initiative. Nurse Educ Pract 2013;13:288-93.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Steinert Y, Mann K, Anderson B, Barnett BM, Centeno A, Naismith L, et al. A systematic review of faculty development initiatives designed to enhance teaching effectiveness: A 10-year update: BEME Guide No. 40. Med Teach 2016;38:769-86.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Microteaching: Inculcating teaching skills in tomorrow's teachers. J Med Soc 2013;27:162.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Faculty development programs in medical education: Need and points to ponder for its successful organization. MAMC J Med Sci 2019;5:41-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
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