Shared Learning Spaces: Peer and Faculty Mentors Develop Skills While Supporting Minoritized Health Sciences Students

Keshrie Naidoo, Shweta Gore, Martha McKean, Margaret Anne Mullins, Garrett Kelley Bowdle, Amanda Mack, Laura Plummer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To explore the effect of virtual mentoring on (1) the development of cross-cultural psychological capital among a group of mostly White health sciences faculty mentors and (2) the effect of perceived competence in mentoring for second-year peer mentors from minoritized backgrounds enrolled in health sciences programs. Method: This mixed-methods study leveraged an explanatory sequential design with quantitative (survey) data collected before qualitative data (focus group interviews). Four first-year physical therapy students and four first-year nursing students were each matched with a faculty mentor and a peer mentor from a minoritized background. Seven peer mentors and eight faculty mentors completed professional development and formed professional learning communities before guided e-mentoring interactions with mentees over six months. Eighteen faculty formed a comparison group. Results: Perceived competence in mentoring increased among peer mentors who tended to emotion as first-year mentees were isolated and frustrated during the pandemic and racial uprising in the country. Peer mentors also took responsibility for discussing race in the classroom if not addressed by faculty. Faculty mentors developed increased cross-cultural psychological capital compared to the comparison group and gained the confidence to engage in racial dialog in the classroom. Discussion: A six-month e-mentoring program resulted in an increase in peer mentor self-efficacy as well as increased cross-cultural psychological capital among health sciences faculty mentors. Faculty described that the skills learned through cross-cultural mentoring could translate to other aspects of their professional role, including engaging in dialog about race in the classroom. Peer mentors described that when faculty shied away from talking about racial incidents, the burden fell on them, which was taxing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Professions Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Cross-cultural psychological capital
  • e-mentoring
  • Health sciences
  • Improvement science
  • Minoritized students
  • Perceived competence


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