Academic Outcomes and Implementation Details of Distance and In-Person Peer Mentoring Programs in Pre-Clinical Undergraduate Medical Settings: A Systematized Review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Medical Education, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 1. Health Professions Education Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran 2. Department of Medical Education, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Peer mentoring may have a crucial role in the early years of medical school in terms of academic success. The aim of the current research is to review studies that have investigated the role of peer mentoring in the academic performance of undergraduate preclinical medical students. Methods: An online search using related keywords (peer mentor as its variations with medical students and its variations) in SCOPUS, OVID, Eric, Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science with no time limit consideration was conducted on 2021/07/07. After eliminating duplicates from retrieved records, the titles and abstracts of the remaining articles were studied, and irrelevant articles were removed based on the predetermined inclusion criteria (mentees from undergraduate medical students in the preclinical phase and reporting academic performance as the outcome of the peer mentoring). Results: Of 294 retrieved records, seven articles remained after the screening and selecting process. Two more articles were also added through hand searching, and nine papers were included in the final analysis. The selected articles were published from 2007 to 2019. Eight articles applied post-only design, and one article used an ex-post facto method. Studies implemented different kinds of peer mentoring models. In most studies, the supportive role of mentors was highlighted. Three studies reported electronic tools for mentoring interactions. Studies reported improvement in mentees’ academic performance in terms of academic success indicators as well as participants’ perceptions about the effectiveness of the program. The overall quality of most articles was low to moderate. Conclusions: The results indicated that there is an improvement in students’ academic performance after participating in peer mentoring programs based on both subjective and objective outcome measures. The results have implications for virtual teaching in the context that there is limited faculty time and probably less motivation for mentoring activities.


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