Knowledge, attitudes and practices of faculty on mentorship: an exploratory interpretivist study at a sub-Saharan African medical school

Document Type



Faculty of Health Sciences, East Africa; Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background:Mentorship has become a routine part of undergraduate training in health professions education. Although many health professions training institutions have successfully incorporated faculty-student mentorship in their formal training, many others especially in Sub-Saharan Africa have not fully embraced this. Institutionalized mentorship programmes are effective methods of enhancing student learning experiences. Faculty, who are the mentors have an active role to play in driving the mentorship agenda and ensure that students benefit from this important activity. The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and practices of faculty about student mentorship at Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

Methods: It was an exploratory qualitative study using interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaires. The study participants included faculty at Makerere University College of Health Sciences. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data using pre-determined themes.

Results:Four themes were identified: 1) Knowledge of mentorship, 2) Attitude towards mentorship, 3) Practice of mentorship and 4) Improving the mentorship process. Majority of the faculty reported being less knowledgeable on mentorship regardless of seniority. The level of knowledge seemed to influence the practice of mentorship. Despite the observed knowledge gap, all faculty demonstrated a positive attitude to participate in mentoring.

Conclusion: Faculty demonstrated a positive attitude towards mentorship despite the knowledge gap of mentorship identified. Continuous faculty development in mentorship as well as using peer mentorship were identified as key in sustaining the mentorship programme.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC medical education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.