Virtual peer mentoring: A partnership between two UK Medical Schools

Merrick, Deborah, Hodgson, Jessica, Hagan, Pamela and Mbaki, Yvonne (2021) Virtual peer mentoring: A partnership between two UK Medical Schools. IMPact, 4 (1). ISSN 2516-7561

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Virtual peer mentoring: A partnership between two UK Medical Schools
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The first-year student experience in Higher Education (HE) is complex due to the multiple life changing events occurring within this period. It is therefore important that universities embed accessible welfare support for students transitioning into HE. With near-peer support receiving recent credit for its benefit to medical students, the University of Nottingham (UoN) Medical School established a peer mentoring scheme where second-year students act as mentors to their first-year peers. The establishment of the Lincoln Medical School (LMS) in 2018, formed from a partnership between UoN and University of Lincoln (UoL), led to the inception of the Virtual Peer Mentoring (VPM) scheme. With the acknowledgement that there was a lack of near-peer support for the LMS students, VPMs were recruited from a pool of students who had been peer mentors at the UoN Medical School, with the responsibility of offering support to this cohort of students virtually, given the separate locations of the two campuses. As a novel concept between two UK Medical Schools, an evaluation of the VPM scheme revealed a positive experience for the VPMs. However, challenges identified by the peer mentees included the lack of face-to-face interactions, limited insight into the geographical and
local knowledge of Lincoln and the limited use of technology to aid the virtual relationship. In acknowledging these limitations, with adjustments, there is scope to refine and enhance the VPM scheme, especially within the current
climate of the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Keywords:Peer Mentoring, student support, Medicine, Wellbeing
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A100 Pre-clinical Medicine
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Medical School
ID Code:45720
Deposited On:19 Jul 2021 10:12

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