Perspectives on academic mentorship from sexual and gender minority students pursuing careers in the health sciences.

High-quality academic mentorship is key to the success of students pursuing careers in the health sciences. Mentorship may take on additional importance for sexual and gender minority (SGM) students, who often face stressors related to stigmatized identities. We conducted an anonymous online survey to assess the mentorship experiences of SGM students pursuing careers in the health sciences and to elicit their perspectives on what makes an effective mentor. Students (N = 166) were pursuing a variety of health-related careers, including medicine (12.7%), nursing (7.8%), public health (21.1%), and social work (19.3%). Overall, students rated the quality of their mentorship experiences as (very) good: 83.8% among participants who reported having had an academic mentor that openly identified as SGM and 79.5% among participants who had a non-SGM identified mentor (ns). Participants recommended individual, dyadic and structural level activities that could be undertaken by academic mentors of SGM students to promote the students’ academic success and positive career trajectories. Education on SGM issues, direct conversation about experiences of homophobia and transphobia in academic settings, and advocacy for including SGM content in coursework were among the suggestions provided by participants. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)