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Abstract

Purpose: Mentoring is a process and a relationship between a novice and an expert that fosters intellectual, personal, and professional growth. The purposes and scope of this article are to describe 1) the structured professional development component of a comprehensive mentoring program for students in a physical therapy program; and 2) the perceptions of faculty and students regarding this mentoring program. Method: Faculty and students completed electronic questionnaires developed specifically for each group. Results: Return rate was 54.50% (N=286) for physical therapist students and 100% (N=18) for physical therapy faculty. Student positive ratings regarding the mentoring program exceeded 89.00%. Additionally, 76.75% of the students reported seeking feedback and advice from their faculty mentor to make informed decisions. Students perceived their mentors to be committed to helping them achieve their personal/professional goals (94.96%). Faculty mentors reported that they enjoy being mentors (94.12%), believe they have a responsibility to assist in the professional socialization of mentees (100.00%), and that mentees benefitted from meeting with them regarding professional behavior issues (92.86%). Conclusions: Faculty mentors and student mentees perceive that students benefit from mentoring regarding professional behavior issues and that the mentoring program is valuable and worth the time spent participating in it. We suggest that the process and documents developed by the Program in Physical Therapy may be used as a basis for critical dialogue within other academic units for the purpose of determining the desired professional behavior mentoring system for that particular academic entity.

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