PERCEPTION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS ABOUT PEER MENTORING
Objective: To explore the perceptions of undergraduate medical students, about mentoring from their senior peers.
Study Design: Qualitative study.
Place and Duration of Study: Army Medical College, Rawalpindi, from Jun to Dec 2016.
Methodology: Fifty medical students, from all 5 academic years were selected through purposive sampling for Focus Group Discussion. The discussions were audio recorded, transcribed and analyzed for pattern generation, through primary coding, with the help of Nvivo software.
Results: Common words, phrases or sentences, used by the participants and depicting concepts, were identified and abbreviated. Based on the comments used by the participants, a total of 17 first cycle codes, 6 categories 2 themes were identified; using QRS Nvivo. Participants were unanimous in highlighting the stressful nature of medical education, expressing the need of formal student support programs at the college to mitigate the stress and to improve their academic performance. Military training and lack of proper guidance, and at times misguidance, were considered to be the major contributors in perpetuating the multipronged stress, although most of the participants favored continuation of military training.
Conclusion: Stress was pervasive in the students, especially in their initial weeks and month, the perception of its severity being dependent on host of factors. To produce a relaxed, empathetic, competent and confident doctor the institute needs to provide congenial educational environment during their undergraduate training. Certain administrative measures can be beneficial for improving peer support to help junior peers in their professional development.