Published: 13 May 2015

Mentoring in post-graduate medical education and specialist training

Executive summary. Purpose: The Department of Health (DoH) is in the process of undertaking a strategic review of medical training and career structure for post-graduate medical doctors in Ireland. To assist this process, the DoH required a review of the literature on specific aspects of mentoring for post-graduate medical doctors. Review questions:  The DoH asked the Health Research Board (HRB) to answer the following questions:

  1. How is mentoring defined in the medical literature?
  2. How is mentoring used to support post-graduate medical trainees?
  3. What are post-graduate medical trainees’ experiences of mentoring?
  4. What is the impact of mentoring on retaining post-graduate medical trainees and specialist doctors in publicly funded health systems?

Method: A rapid evidence assessment was used to answer the four questions posed by the DoH. Two systematic reviews (one containing studies using different designs, but excluding qualitative studies) and one containing only qualitative studies were used as index papers to “unpack” key concepts and identify other relevant studies; both reviews were also used to provide key evidence. From the citations in the index papers, other relevant reviews and primary studies were identified. Papers were included in the review on the basis of the substantive contribution they could make to answer the questions. The majority of the literature for the review was based on American and Canadian experiences; only a small number of papers and reports were obtained from the UK and mainland Europe.


  • Martin Keane
  • Jean Long

Publication (PDF, 615 KB)

Publication (PDF, 615 KB)

Health Research Board
Health Research Board
Place of publication

Information and documents obtained from this website are the copyright of Health Research Board unless otherwise stated. These may be reproduced and /or re-used subject to the latest Public Sector Information license, without the need for users to make a license application to the HRB.

Re-use includes copying, issuing copies to the public, publishing, broadcasting and translating into other languages. It also covers non-commercial research and study. 

Full information on the regulations is available from the Public Sector Information (PSI) Portal at the following web address The Public Sector Information Portal will always have the most up to date PSI Licence.