gms | German Medical Science

16. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre: Curriculum planning and assessment

19. - 21. April 2012, Timisoara, Romania

Roles of mentors for undergraduate medical students in Vienna


Suche in Medline nach

  • corresponding author Angelika Hofhansl - Medical University of Vienna, Department of Medical Education, Vienna, Austria
  • author Günther F. Körmöczi - Medical University of Vienna, Department of Blood Group Serology and Transfusion, Vienna, Austria

16. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre 2012 - Curriculum planning and assessment. Timisoara, Romania, 19.-21.04.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12grako23

doi: 10.3205/12grako23, urn:nbn:de:0183-12grako236

Veröffentlicht: 5. September 2012

© 2012 Hofhansl et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Background: Mentoring is of increasing importance in medical education. Implementation of a mentoring program for large institutions such as the Medical University of Vienna (3800 undergraduate students) poses a particular challenge. Since 2009 a mentoring program for medical students (third year and higher) was introduced to achieve the following primary goals: Intensification of exchange between students and faculty, and support of students’ professional and personal development.

Design: For successful implementation, a clear role definition of faculty mentors is essential. At the Medical University of Vienna, mentors were chosen by their mentees according to online published profiles. In a 1:5 group setting, meetings took place once per month. Discussed topics are also chosen by the mentees. Moreover, ten specific mentor roles were defined beforehand. The most prominent of them are: mentors are a facilitator, providing support and counseling for the students; they focus on personal responsibility and empowerment of the mentees. They regard their mentees always as active partners and encourage also the group’s competence for solutions.

Based on voluntary participation, 117 faculty mentors and 410 students participated in the program. Program evaluation covered qualitative (records of discussed topics) and quantitative data (questionnaires completed by mentors and mentees).

Results: Both mentees and mentors showed high acceptance of this setting, including group size, frequency of meetings and mentoring efficacy. More than 90% of mentees stated that their mentor fulfilled his duties and responded to their needs in an adequate way.

Conclusions: These promising results show that the definition of the mentors’ roles meet the needs of the students as well as of the faculty. Efficient mentoring at a large university is feasible on a voluntary basis and complements the core curriculum.