Faculty Mentor Perspectives of a Formal Mentoring Program for Student Pharmacists: A Qualitative Study

  • Matthew J. Witry
  • Elaine Nguyen
  • Brandon J. Patterson
Keywords: Mentor, faculty, student, pharmacy, professional development


Objective: To describe pharmacy faculty perspectives on participating in a formal mentoring program for student pharmacists.

Methods: This qualitative study used ten, 45 to 60 minute semi-structured interviews conducted in November and December, 2012 with faculty mentors sampled randomly by strata of on-site off-site positions at a single public university college of pharmacy. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Transcripts were coded using an inductively created consensus code list. The research team iteratively grouped codes into themes, developed summaries, and identified representative quotes.

Results: Analysis of interviews produced three main themes. Mentor interaction was described as having an investigative or responsive orientation, which influenced mentor actions and perspectives for the relationship with the student mentee. Program structure and concerns included a perceived absence of clear program objectives. Mentor response to feedback focused on 3 feedback sources: administrators, peers, and students.

Conclusions: Overall, faculty mentors in this program had different approaches to, expectations for, and experiences in their formal mentoring program participation. These differences are initial descriptions of mentor approaches toward mentoring interactions by faculty in a formal mentoring program. Colleges of pharmacy leaders and administrators may benefit from more clearly specifying and communicating program objectives in order to achieve results for mentees, mentors, and the organization.


Type: Original Research


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Received 2016-02-10
Published 2015-01-01