A pilot, randomized controlled trial of telementorship: A useful tool during social distancing. Journal of clinical and translational research Prionas, N. D., Kung, T. H., Dohn, A., Piro, N., von Eyben, R., Katznelson, L., Caruso, T. J. 2021; 7 (1): 66-71

Abstract

Background: During social distancing, resident mentorship may be an unmet need. Telementorship, mentorship through video conferencing software, presents a unique approach to overcome these challenges.Aims: This study evaluated whether telementorship through video conference increased access to mentorship encounters and decreased perceived barriers to access, factors that determine likelihood to maintain mentor relationships, and quality of mentorship.Methods: A year-long randomized, prospective cohort study was conducted in 2016-2017 with pairs of resident mentors from seven different training programs and medical student mentees, randomized to telementorship or in-person mentorship. The number of quarterly encounters was monitored and demographic predictors of meeting were determined. Likert scale survey responses were analyzed with linear regression.Results: Forty-three of 46 (93.5%) volunteer mentor-mentee pairs participated. Telementorship did not alter likelihood of meeting or attitudes toward mentorship barriers (time and distance). Mentee satisfaction increased from 42.5% to 65.4% (P<0.05) throughout the year. Operating room-based practice (P<0.05) and higher postgraduate level (P=0.02) decreased the likelihood of meeting.Conclusion: Telementorship provided an equal number of encounters compared to the pairs who were asked to meet in-person. Telementorship may serve as an adjunct modality for flexible communication.Relevance for Patients: Medical mentorship is a key component to medical education. Effective mentorship increases academic research productivity, job satisfaction, and advancement of clinical skills, which translate to improved patient care.

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