“Value my culture, value me”: a case for culturally relevant mentoring in medical education and academic medicine

Sylk Sotto-Santiago, Jacqueline Mac, Inginia Genao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Mentoring programs are one mechanism used to increase diversity and participation of historically underrepresented groups in academic medicine. However, more knowledge is needed about the mentoring experiences and how culturally relevant concepts and perspectives may influence diverse students, trainees, and faculty success. This case study utilized the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) model which examines the experiences of students in higher education. We used this model to examine the mentoring experiences of Black and Latine faculty and offer practical implications for the medical education continuum. Methods: Our research approach is best understood through qualitative inquiry stemming from a single-case study which allowed for in-depth understanding of the contexts informing the phenomenon. Phenomenology is well positioned to contribute to understanding science and health professions. Selection criteria included individuals who self-identified as Black or Latine; inclusive of all faculty ranks and tracks. This analysis focuses on 8 semi-structured interviews, averaging 3 h in length. Results: Findings centered on the area of cultural relevance, and participant narratives revealed the connection of mentoring with cultural familiarity, culturally relevant knowledge, cultural service and engagement, and cultural validation. Conclusion: The use of cultural relevance indicators can inform the creation and evolution of mentoring programs towards holistic support of historically underrepresented trainees and faculty. Implications also focus on the development of mentors and championing the incorporation of cultural humility in the mentoring process. The implications in praxis offers the possibility for a new framework for culturally relevant mentoring (CRM). Through this framework we aim to enhance and facilitate inclusive learning environments and career development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number229
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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