Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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On Sep 2018




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On Sep 2018




Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."



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Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
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Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
Lucknow
On Sep 2018




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MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata




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C.S. Ramesh Babu,
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Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
Muzaffarnagar.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".



Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
Bengaluru.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help one’s reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".



Dr. Mamta Gupta
Consultant
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018




Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.


Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journals–No manuscripts–No authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."



Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
E-mail: drrajendrak1@rediffmail.com
On May 11,2011




Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."



Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com
On April 2011
Anuradha

Dear team JCDR, I would like to thank you for the very professional and polite service provided by everyone at JCDR. While i have been in the field of writing and editing for sometime, this has been my first attempt in publishing a scientific paper.Thank you for hand-holding me through the process.


Dr. Anuradha
E-mail: anuradha2nittur@gmail.com
On Jan 2020

Important Notice

Original article / research
Year : 2022 | Month : September | Volume : 16 | Issue : 9 | Page : JC01 - JC05 Full Version

Continued Mentorship Program for MBBS Students during COVID-19 Pandemic in Virtual Mode: A Questionnaire-based Observational Study


Published: September 1, 2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2022/55755.16825
MD Shashikala, Kruttika Naik, K Narayana, CK Deepa

1. Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. 2. Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. 3. Professor and Head, Deparmtent of Pharmacology, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. 4. Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. CK Deepa,
Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre,
T Begur, Nelamangala taluk, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
E-mail: 9739766166chittu@gmail.com

Abstract

Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic situation propelled the regular student mentorship program onto a virtual mode. Various surveys and studies have uncovered the ramifications on mental health and academic upheaval caused by the changing academic regulations and protocols.

Aim: To evaluate the perception of mentors and mentees regarding the utility of virtual mentorship and to deduce barriers in continuing virtual mode mentorship program for 1st-year medical students.

Materials and Methods: The present observational study was conducted at Sri Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, from April-June 2020. A feedback form was administered to all participants after two months of the online mentorship program, via a semistructured questionnaire. The questionnaire had four open and eight close-ended responses for mentees. The contents were related to the frequency of meetings, mode of communication, perceived barriers, and futility of course, along with one open and five close-ended responses for mentors on barriers to effective conduct and perceived level of the mentoring relationship forged with students. A total of 12 mentors and 125 students responded.

Results: It was observed that 96% of mentees felt that the program helped to fight alienation and stay connected, 89.6% felt inspired to study and 83% felt oriented to the online teaching programs. Both 91.7% of mentors and 82.4% of mentees asked for better applications, connectivity, and network support. In fact, the major barrier to effective communication was quoted as being poor network connectivity and applications support (47%). A comparable trend was noted among both mentees and mentors with respect to the program being rated good and above (91.7% mentors and 85.6% mentees). Hence, in the observational study, via thematic analysis and content analysis of qualitative data, two points were observed-1. The virtual mentorship program helped mentees to get emotionally and academically connected, cleared their doubts, and helped to reduce stress. 2. Poor technical and connectivity support were deduced as major barriers to the successful conduct of virtual mentorship.

Conclusion: A well-structured virtual mentorship program guides the mentors to effectively chaperone mentees through a stressful uninterrupted academic course period, enhance academic performances and help alleviate the feeling of alienation.

Keywords

Medical education, Medical students, Mentee, Mentor

The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with traditional teaching methods of medical education with each wave creating an acute shortage of the already stressed-out healthcare staff. The psychological and academic impact of COVID-19 on medical students worldwide is well documented by various studies (1),(2),(3),(4),(5),(6),(7),(8),(9). Also, the National Medical Council (NMC) of India has significantly revamped the course duration and modalities of teaching with revised guidelines (10). Teachers are now acclimatised to revised NMC teaching guidelines and also serving as front-line workers. Back in March 2020, a joint statement issued by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) recommended the suspension of medical student participation in direct COVID-19 care and patient contact (11).

With this new normal, the shift of traditional methods to e-learning mode came into existence with groundbreaking innovations and strategies in medical education (4) including medical mentorship programs that need continued evaluation through different stages of the MBBS course (12),(13),(14),(15). Although the concept of mentorship existed since the dawn of the trade, it was only in the early 1990s that esteemed academies, noted pedagogues and academic policymakers began shaping this culture of mentorship into the concept of a pivotal program that now exists in most of the medical academics (16). Extensive research and studies have gone into understanding this process and conceptualising the most constructive blueprints for the conduct of the same in the medical field (17),(18),(19),(20),21].

An institution’s most valued resource is its staff and they can be used as leverage to build up the academy’s repute and excellence. The mentoring program is an institution’s secret ingredient adding flavour to the final brew made from the choicest of ingredients like robust research culture and scientific excellence, faculty retention and human resource management, and building of a safe gender and culturally sensitive atmosphere (2). Faculty development programs should include collaborative mentoring (3),(22).

Literature provides proof of the benefits galore achieved by this routine, not just for the institution and the mentee, but also for the profession and the society at large. An effective mentorship helps in stimulating and nurturing attributes for professional excellence, and personal growth in the protégé (23). However, there is a lack of robust implementation of dedicated student mentorship programs in most medical colleges in the subcontinent. Also, conducting and sustaining an effective mentorship program, given the growing pandemic situation and uncertainties mirrored by the first nationwide lockdown, requires strategic rethinking, planning, and continued evaluation. Hence, the present study was conducted with an aim to evaluate the perception of mentors and mentees regarding the utility of virtual mentorship and to deduce the barriers to continuing virtual mode mentorship programs for 1st-year medical students.

Material and Methods

This questionnaire-based observational study was conducted at Sri Siddhartha Medical College and Research Centre, from April-June 2020. Institutional Ethical Clearance (IEC) for the study was obtained [SSIMSRC/EC/0189/03-20].

During this period 150 first-year medical students received continued online mentorship with assigned mentors chairing mentoring sessions. On average, 10 group mentoring sessions were conducted by an individual mentor, in addition to the individual and group communications on WhatsApp, and social media via group audio or video calls, phone calls, and via email, during the fixed hours (Saturday noon between 2 to 4 pm) and sometimes individually, both on and off the hours as per their convenience and need of mentees.

Aspects of discussion related to academics included attendance, performance reports, barriers to comprehension and successful conduct of mentoring, and possible approaches for the resolution of the same. Aspects of discussion related to personal life were mostly about hostel life, mess food, and stress management while sensitive personal issues required limited careful counseling without being overbearing, disruptive, or threatening.

Inclusion criteria: All the 150 students of 1st-year MBBS, were eligible participants of the continued online mentorship program.

Exclusion criteria: Those who did not consent to participate.

Participation in the study was purely on a voluntary basis and strictly anonymous. A semistructured questionnaire was prepared after convening a Consensus Committee meeting. Individual questions were validated by five faculty members, and approval was attained after presenting in front of the mentorship committee which included a male and female student representative. The feedback questionnaire had four open and eight close-ended responses for mentees, and one open-ended and five closed-ended questions for mentors. The questionnaires were sent through a Google form link via WhatsApp group for 1st-year batch students and to the 12 mentors. A total of 125 (out of 150 students) responses were received within a two-weeks period.

Statistical Analysis

Google form response reports were collected and Microsoft Excel software was used to calculate the percentage distribution of quantitative data including the Likert scale data. Coding, thematic analysis, and content analysis of qualitative data from open-ended questions were done and conclusions were drawn.

Results

The response rate was 83.3% (125/150). Most students reported having met with their mentors at least once every week (56.8%) followed by once in 15 days (25.6%) (Table/Fig 1).

The biggest negative attribute of the program, according to the 84% of anonymous responses, was problems with the network connectivity and clarity in communication through group calls. However, 6.4% of the students did not point out any perceived negative attribute and 9.6% of them answered on a positive note stating no negative attributes were noted (Table/Fig 2).

For the mentors, the major setback in orchestrating a successful mentoring session was the quality of network connectivity and video call options followed by inhibitions in students and a hectic work schedule. 95% of mentors rated the program as good and above. Mentees also proposed additions or changes to the existing online mentorship program, of which better internet connectivity and software support was requested followed by the need to provide basic foundations for using online resource materials (Table/Fig 3).

Discussion

When the pandemic hit, students were slowly getting ushered into the new competency-based medical education curriculum, through a formal mentorship program. The pandemic brought with it unprecedented challenges and glaring uncertainties to medical students with respect to the conduct of formal classes, clinical learning sessions, and clinical and related essential skill assessment examination (1),(2),(3). Although the learning shifted to a virtual platform, lockdowns and cancellation of offline academic tenor had a tremendous impact on their mental health with few losing interest in studies and co-curricular activities (4),(5). Studies have documented positive attributes of mentoring on mental health during the pandemic (24). This necessitated the continuation of the mentoring program in a virtual mode. Online sessions help circumvent geographical, logistical, and scheduling restrictions (21). However, it is important to foster interpersonal aspects of the mentoring relationship, inclusive of multimentoring strategies, ensure clarity of expectations and communications and ensure competence with technologies along with institutional aided mentor support online (25).

The mentorship committee comprised mentors and a program leader and met once a month. The training by the coordinators to the faculty was arranged to continue it through online mode. The program thus structured, needed prompt evaluation for the accomplishment of intended goals which forms the basis of present study. Present study was relevant and not just limited to the context of a pandemic situation, as more research now continues to elaborate on nuances of conduct of virtual mode mentoring sessions in a medical academic institute (21),(26),(27),(28),(29),(30),(31),(32),(33).

The response rate in the present study, 83.3%, was comparable to similar studies (34),(35). The virtual program was well-received by mentees and mentors alike with comparable responses as 85.6% of the students and 91.7% of mentors rating the program good and beyond. Unlike the findings from studies of the pre-pandemic era (9),(11),(28), a significant proportion of students in this study reported having benefited personally at a mental level than on the academic level. This was mirrored in findings of similar studies from the pandemic era (25),(32),(33). Also, as pointed out by Fagenson-Eland EA et al., psychosocial benefits are easily revealed in short-term mentoring relationships and a longer mentorship relationship duration is desirable to deduce career benefits (36). In the present study, many students felt that the mentoring sessions prevented them from feeling lost and from staying connected and oriented (Table/Fig 1).

A significant proportion of students preferred more individual sessions in addition to group sessions as noted in a similar study (37). In present study, the most common modes of communication were through online video conferencing followed by text messages and voice calls. Data from other study show varied patterns of mode of communication used (37). We believe that in addition to mentee preferences, these patterns are strongly affected the institutional mentorship program committee guidelines, the readiness of individual mentors attending to their wards as well as financial and technical communication challenges at both ends. Also, few students suggested the option of choosing their own mentor as found in some studies (34),(35),(38). However some studies also noted that given the option, it still was difficult to choose a mentor without the institution having a formal mechanism for effective facilitation of the same (38).

There exists exhaustive literature from all fields on characteristics of effective mentoring relationships and cultivable desired traits in a mentor. As in other similar studies, mentees in present study, seek friendlier mentors who were non judgmental, maintained confidentiality, and were sensitive and open-minded (30),(34),(35),(38). Jaffer U et al., suggest that a mentor has to fit into the archetypes of being a coach, sponsor, and connector (39). With respect to e-mentoring core competencies desirable for mentors, Markus S et al., enumerates seven online domains (30). Mentoring bias, Confidentiality breach, and perception of being an agent of the establishment are some of the potential downsides of faculty-led mentoring (40). Benefits of inclusion of strategies like near-peer mentoring, multi-mentoring, and informal mentoring in addition to formal faculty mentoring need to be studied (27),(41),(42). These strategies could be more effectively included using telementoring by including senior students, postgraduates, resident doctors, specialists etc. to form a corroborative mentoring web. As more and more millennial students rely on online study and research materials, the need for mentors to be on the same frequency is imperative (26),(29),(30). This is reflected in the present study where a staggering 47.2% of students wanted the institution to organise sessions guiding the use of online study material. Near peer mentoring can aid in partially addressing this lacuna (28),(33). Patel PD et al., noted that given additional guidance and recognition, residents were more enthusiastic about mentoring novices in medical school and reflected similar attitudes and techniques in the use of online social networks and mentoring techniques (26). Hodgson JC and Hagan P observed that teaching staff adaptation response to the online mode of mentoring was tepid in comparison to that of students and that a general inhibition to use of technology, social media use and privacy concerns with personal mobile phone contact were observed reasons (32).

Most common barrier to effective virtual communication as noted by both the students and the mentors in this study were effective network connectivity and clarity of chosen video call application as would be naturally required for a virtual course. It can be inferred that quality e-learning applications and compatible hardware are strategic investments providing high returns and can make or break the successful conduct of any aspect of professional courses (21). Other than the actual barrier of need for technical and human resources support, among the perceived major barriers to online mentoring, mentors called for better involvement of mentees in the mentoring process followed by workload management. These findings were also in keeping with the findings of similar studies (27),(28). Walsh K pointed out that online sessions to being more asynchronous with respect to reading each other’s facial expression and body language and that the relationship becomes less secure (43). Price MA and Chen HH showed variation in participation motivation, involvement, and personal characteristics to likely effect the maintenance of continuous interactions and render reflective influences difficult to achieve, online mode requiring coordination and management (both technical and human), facilitation and planning, and implementation and evaluation (28). Other studies state lack of appropriate financial incentives and recognition for the work done as well as mentoring being perceived as a hobby as being major barriers to effective mentoring (38). Similar to findings from related studies (34),(35), a significant number of students in present study stated personal or health-related issues and time constraints as being a barrier to communication.

According to study by longer mentoring relationship periods lead protégés to better utilise the mentorship program, and its psychosocial rather than career impacts are easier to measure in short-term samples (24),(38). The challenges of any virtual mode sessions vary from that of offline mode sessions (27). The COVID-19 pandemic should be seen as a major precipitator pushing the concepts of e-moderation and telementoring into major phase of adaptive programming and evolution (20). Authors propose that similar studies be conducted in other academic centers as more data from the conduct of online sessions will benefit the development of a multicomponent strategy.

Based on the findings of the study presented at the institution’s Mentorship Committee Annual Meet, involving stakeholders from the administration and student committee, an online tool kit was formulated and decisions for procurement of additional technical aids for networking and communication was undertaken. Revision of topics for training sessions for mentors was done to include insights on a combined novice, peer-, near-peer, and e-mentoring (CNEP) strategies and inter-professional team-based mentoring (IPT) programs.

Limitation(s)

As the study was limited to studying the perception of mentors and mentees and deducing the utility of the continued virtual mode mentorship program, more data from continued follow-up of present students in comparison with newer batches, with a focus on correlation with academic performance is desirable. Correlation with academic performance was not performed in the present study as the concurrent assessment examinations conducted were also on the online mode for the very first time and numerous confounding factors could affect the deduction of correlation between perceived levels of benefits from mentoring programme and academic performance. Also, inherent bias among mentors and mentees could still affect their perceived notions making it difficult to generalise the findings of the study.

Conclusion

A continued online mentorship program helps to provide psychological and academic support to medical students during times they are off-limits the campus. Corroborative mentor training along with attention to technical support like reliable network connectivity and choosing a well-reviewed user-friendly application, regular feedback procurement and self-assessment are crucial for smooth conduct of the virtual mentoring sessions.

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DOI and Others

DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2022/55755.16825

Date of Submission: Feb 19, 2022
Date of Peer Review: Mar 25, 2022
Date of Acceptance: Jul 04, 2022
Date of Publishing: Sep 01, 2022

AUTHOR DECLARATION:
• Financial or Other Competing Interests: None
• Was Ethics Committee Approval obtained for this study? Yes
• Was informed consent obtained from the subjects involved in the study? Yes
• For any images presented appropriate consent has been obtained from the subjects. NA

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• Plagiarism X-checker: Feb 22, 2022
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• iThenticate Software: Jul 02, 2022 (7%)

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