Key Attributes of a Medical Learning Community Mentor at One Medical School

Waqas Haque, Troy Gurney, W. Gary Reed, Carol S North, David E. Pollio, E. Whitney Pollio, James M Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to discover the elements required for a successful learning community (LC) faculty member educator of medical students. Method: The authors in this qualitative study evaluated six 90-min focus groups of faculty members. The groups included 31 experienced and 19 inexperienced LC faculty members at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. After achieving excellent interrater reliability, transcriptions of the discussions were subjected to thematic analysis using ATLAS.ti software. Results: Five major themes emerged: (1) LC faculty characteristics/competency, (2) suggested faculty development methods, (3) factors outside the LC environment influencing student relationships, (4) student attributes influencing teaching techniques, and (5) measuring and improving history and physical skills. Faculty characteristics/competency subthemes included role-modeling, mentoring, and teaching competence. Suggested faculty development methods subthemes included assessing and giving feedback to faculty, peer development, and learning from experts. Experienced LC faculty focused more attention on teaching competence and mentoring competence than inexperienced LC faculty. Discussion: The themes with the most extensive discussion among the experienced LC faculty groups may represent qualities to be sought in future mentor recruitment and faculty development. Future studies could build on this study by similarly investigating student perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedical Science Educator
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Learning community
  • Medical education mentoring
  • Mentor-student relationship
  • Mentoring traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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