Medicine e-mentoring: accessibility and suitability of e-mentoring for applicants from widening participation and non-widening participation backgrounds

Patricia Jayne Harris, Kathleen Lane

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This paper investigates the accessibility and suitability of e-mentoring to support access to medicine for applicants from diverse backgrounds. Through qualitative analysis of the conversations between mentors (current medical students) and mentees it aims to identify the main concerns of potential medical applicants and investigate similarities and differences between mentees from widening participation (WP) and non-widening participation backgrounds. Thirty-six medicine applicants from varied backgrounds subscribed to e-mentoring during their UCAS application preparation making it possible to address the study's research questions. No discernible difference between WP and non-WP applicants was evident, which suggests the label is not indicative of prior knowledge or support needed to navigate the application process. E-mentoring was found to be a suitable platform for the delivery of outreach and both WP and non-WP applicants benefited equally. The findings from the study are discussed in the context of Health Professional Admissions and Outreach and the use of e-mentoring as a means of delivering on the WP access agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-136
Number of pages23
JournalWidening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

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