Does peer mentoring work? Dental students assess its benefits as an adaptive coping strategy

Naty Lopez, Sara Johnson, Nicki Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Dental students deal with various stressors while in dental school. While some develop adaptive coping skills, others may suffer from damaging effects of constant and increasing levels of stress. This study evaluated a peer mentoring program at a dental school in the Midwest to determine student perceptions of its benefits and to identify areas for improvement. Data were collected through a survey sent out to all dental classes online. The twenty-five-item survey was based on student responses during two focus groups held to elicit student assessment of the peer mentoring program. Sixty-six percent of the student body participated with representation from all four classes. Students find their peer mentoring program an effective tool in helping them deal with stress especially during transition phases of their curriculum, first into dental school and later from preclinic to the clinics. Having a mentor means easy access to an available person who can help students relieve anxieties about dental school. Experiencing dental school enables a student to serve as a mentor, so a non-dental student is seen as not effective. Peer mentoring needs to be loosely structured and flexible and should cover all years in the dental curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1205
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Dental students
  • Mentor/mentee
  • Peer mentoring
  • Stress


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