Evaluating the students' perspectives of a clinic mentoring programme

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe and examine the effectiveness of a mentoring program for third and fourth year clinical dental students. This is an educational intervention for the pre-doctoral students at the Schulich School of Dentistry. We have recently instituted this program and have developed a questionnaire to assess the student perspectives using a SWOT analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of this intervention by analyzing the quantitative and qualitative responses of the students towards their clinical education and patient management. Our findings, both quantitative and qualitative, indicated that the mentoring program was well received by most students who would like to see the program expanded. The majority of students felt that the mentoring program aligned well with comprehensive care of their patients while enhancing their clinical experience. One of the strongest areas of agreement involved the ability to discuss cases in a non-threatening environment. The SWOT analysis identified key areas for future improvements. We offer steps to successfully implement a similar program based on our findings. It is our hope that our results might be instrumental for other schools wishing to adopt a similar model which supports patient-based comprehensive care.

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