Assessing the role of mentors in mitigating burnout and enhancing professional development in medical education

Int J Med Educ. 2024 Jan 25:15:1-7. doi: 10.5116/ijme.659b.d08c.


Objectives: To assess the correlation between mentor behaviours and medical student burnout and their professional development within medical education.

Methods: A cross-sectional study using convenience sampling was conducted among third-, fifth-, and sixth-year medical students (N=307). Participants voluntarily completed anonymous online questionnaires measuring the Mentor Behavior Scale, the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey, and the Professional Self-Identity Questionnaire. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to analyse relationships between student burnout, mentor behaviours and their impact on professional development.

Results: Among participants, 26% (N=80) experienced burnout, which was significantly associated with lower competency support (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.1-3.5, p = 0.016), medication use (OR = 2.1, 95% CI: 1.1-4.0, p = 0.029), and a lower Grade Point Average (OR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.6-6.9, p = 0.001) compared to non-burnout students. In the development of professional identity, a high level of mentor relationship structure had statistically significant associations with higher scores in key domains of the Professional Self-Identity Questionnaire, including teamwork (OR = 3.9, 95% CI: 1.5-9.9, p < 0.01), communication (OR = 3.4, 95% CI: 1.5-7.7, p < 0.01), ethical awareness (OR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.4-8.0, p < 0.01), and record use (OR = 2.8, 95% CI: 1.2-6.5, p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The impact of mentor behaviours on medical students is evident. Enhancing mentorship by addressing specific mentor behaviours can improve programme quality. Future research should explore the long-term effects and strategies for effectively implementing targeted enhancements in mentor behaviours.

Keywords: burnout; medical student; mentoring behaviours; mentorship; professional identity.

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional* / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional* / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Mentors
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Self Report*
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Supplementary concepts

  • Maslach Burnout Inventory