Distance mentoring involves the use of services such as email, Skype calls, telephone calls and other online services to establish communication between a mentor and mentee2. When a mentor and mentee have limited face-to-face contact, distance mentorship can be a useful alternative.
To be successful, both the mentor and mentee must be content with the lack of face-to-face communication. Distance mentoring can be facilitated by establishing a relationship locally prior to the long-distance relationship and having occasional in person communication7.
- Greatly expands the pool of potential mentors; provides the opportunity for mentees to look outside their institution for mentors, particularly when an area of expertise is not represented in their own institution.
- Lessens restrictions on time and location of communication.
- Offers the possibility of rapid, less costly, knowledge transfer and capacity-strengthening.
- Lack of impromptu meetings
- Often requires more time and effort to grow the relationship and to establish trust.
- Misunderstandings due to phone and e-mail communications.
- Technical problems with communication mediums.
For more information on ways to maximize distance mentoring relationships, please review the following article:
Eight ways to make distance mentoring more effective.
The most common form of group mentorship utilizes 1-2 mentors who are more experienced or skilled with multiple mentees (>5) in a group setting10.
When utilizing group mentorship methodology, the individual development of the mentee is still the goal; each mentee should still have their own unique learning objectives11. The group should also strive to create a safe and confidential environment where personal challenges can be discussed and explored.
- Allows a limited number of mentors to spread across a larger number of mentees.
- Fosters a safe environment for mentees who are uncomfortable meeting one-on-one with a mentor.
- Eliminates problems relating to chemistry between two people (or lack thereof).
- Allows for multiple viewpoints of issues and ideas.
- Difficulty balancing individual mentee needs with the needs of the overall group.
- Lack of the "personal" relationship often developed in one-on-one mentoring.
- Scheduling difficulties.
- Confidentiality may not be achieved to the level possible in a one-on-one relationship.
- Group dynamics may hinder progress.
- Summary, E. et al. Supporting instructors to improve teaching effectiveness: Recommendations for fellowship and mentorship programs.
- Santhus, E., Dhariwal, C. & Masumali, M. Mentoring in Medicine : A Retrospective Study. 42–52
- Mentoring Matters: Three Essential Elements Of Success. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryabbajay/2019/01/20/mentoring-matters-three-essential-element-of-success/#6b20617445a9. (Accessed: 20th September 2019)
- Pololi, L. H., Knight, S. M., Dennis, K. & Frankel, R. M. <Innovative Collaborative Mentoring Program in Medical Schools.pdf>. 4, 377–384 (2002).
- Moss, J., Teshima, J. & Leszcz, M. Peer group mentoring of junior faculty. Acad. Psychiatry 32, 230–235 (2008).
- The Common Pitfalls in Mentoring Programs. Available at: https://artofmentoring.net/the-common-pitfalls-in-mentoring-programs/. (Accessed: 20th September 2019)
- Luckhaupt, S. E. et al. Mentorship in academic general internal medicine: Results of a survey of mentors. J. Gen. Intern. Med. 20, 1014–1018 (2005).
- Top 3 Pros and Cons of Distance Mentoring. Available at: http://www.mentorleadershipteam.com/articles/top-3-pros-and-cons-of-distance-mentoring. (Accessed: 20th September 2019)
- Zerzan, J. T., Hess, R., Schur, E., Phillips, R. S. & Rigotti, N. Making the most of mentors: A guide for mentees. Acad. Med. 84, 140–144 (2009).
- Group mentoring becomes more and more popular - KMP+. Available at: https://kmpplus.com/group-mentoring-becomes-more-and-more-popular/. (Accessed: 20th September 2019)
- Carvin, B. N. The hows and whys of group mentoring. Ind. Commer. Train. 43, 49–52 (2011).
- The Pros and Cons of Group Mentoring. Available at: https://www.management-mentors.com/about/corporate-mentoring-matters-blog/bid/101966/the-pros-and-cons-of-group-mentoring. (Accessed: 20th September 2019)
- Lord, J. A. et al. A peer mentoring group for junior clinician educators: Four years’ experience. Acad. Med. 87, 378–383 (2012).
- Varkey, P. et al. The positive impact of a facilitated peer mentoring program on academic skills of women faculty. BMC Med. Educ. 12, 14 (2012).
- Pololi, L. & Knight, S. Mentoring faculty in academic medicine: A new paradigm? J. Gen. Intern. Med.20, 866–870 (2005).
- Andre, C., Deerin, J. & Leykum, L. Students helping students: vertical peer mentoring to enhance the medical school experience. BMC Res. Notes 10, 1–7 (2017).
- Cox, E. Individual and Organizational Trust in a Reciprocal Peer Coaching Context. Mentor. Tutoring Partnersh. Learn. 20, 427–443 (2012).