Date of Original Version
Mentorship is defined as a relationship in which a more knowledgeable and experienced person (the mentor) guides the development of an inexperienced and less knowledgeable person (the mentee).1 The American Association for College of Pharmacy Argus Commission recommends increased collaboration with student pharmacy leaders to examine curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular strategies to develop student leadership for the health care system.2 By surveying first year professional (P1) students and third year professional (P3) peer mentors, student pharmacists can improve peer mentorship by targeting specific topic P1s wish to receive advice on and including specific topics P3 peer mentors believe are crucial to be aware of as students enter pharmacy school.
To assess the difference in views of third year professional (P3) peer mentors and first year professional (P1) mentees on topics that are important to first year pharmacy students.
Peer mentors and P1 students were asked to voluntarily fill out a survey and rank topics they believe were important to them currently as a P1 or were important to receive as a P1 now that they are P3 students. Results were determined and ranked by adding the total sum of students’ ranking of each category. Peer mentors are defined as pharmacy students in their third professional year (P3) at the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy. Peer mentors are P3 students who previously agreed to participate in the program. Peer mentees are all students enrolled in their first professional year (P1) at the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy.
Survey results showed that P1 mentees and P3 mentors agreed that study tips are most important to present to students entering the PharmD program. Mentees ranked resume/CV/interview tips and internships highest compared to mentors who ranked career paths and faculty relationships highest after study tips. Mentors ranked “how to become a competitive pharmacy student” fifth while mentees ranked it last. Response rates were 79% (n= 103) for P1 mentees and 75% (n=18) for P3 mentors.
A limitation of the project was a relatively small sample size with only representation of P1 and P3 pharmacy students at URI surveyed. The difference of opinions may be because P3 students are often considering post-graduate options, in which professional relationships and having a competitive resume are of a greater concern than they are for P1 students entering the curriculum. The results were used to improve the peer mentor event “What I wish I knew as a P1”, a round-table event which gave the opportunity for peer mentors to give advice to P1s on a variety of topics. Peer mentorship was improved by targeting specific topic P1s wish to receive advice on and including specific topics P3 peer mentors believe are crucial to be aware of as students enter pharmacy school. Using information provided on areas of most assistance needed by the P1s, peer mentors will be able to create specific programs and activities to help their mentees achieve and maintain academic, social, and professional success as a pharmacy student.
Authors of this presentation have no financial nor personal relationships with commercial entities that may have a direct or indirect interest in the subject matter of this presentation.
- Kram KE, Isabella LA. Mentoring Alternatives: The Role of Peer Relationships in Career Development. Academy of Management Journal. 1985; 28:1 (110-132) http://www.bu.edu/sph/files/2012/01/Kram_Mentoring-Alternatives.pdf
- Kerr RA, Beck DE, Doss J, et al.Building a sustainable system of development for pharmacy: report of the 2008-09 Argus Commission. Am J Pharm Educ. 2009;73 http://archive.ajpe.org/view.asp?art=aj7308S05&pdf=yes
Liu, C. & Asal, N. (2015). Comparison of peer mentor and peer mentee views on keys to pharmacy success for first year professional students [Poster presentation]. New England Pharmacists Convention.