The Black Mentoring Scheme

Trig point of Pen Y Ghent at sunrise

The Black Mentoring Scheme: Mentoring for Medicine and Surgery MBChB students of black heritage

Shakeela Brown supervised by Bridgette Bewick and Louise Bryant


Headshot of Shakeela BrownAbout the student researcher

My name is Shakeela and I am a second year medical student of Black-heritage at the University of Leeds. After being on placement in the National Health Service I asked the question ‘Where are all the Black doctors?’. The lack of representation of doctors from Black/Black-heritage backgrounds made me doubt whether I belonged in medicine, whether it was possible to succeed as a Black medical student and doctor.  The phrase ‘you have to see one to be one’ came to my mind and that encouraged me to work in partnership with Professor Bridgette Bewick to develop the ‘Black Mentoring Scheme’. The mentoring scheme involves doctors who are Black or of Black heritage mentoring current Black or Black heritage medical students to help empower and inspire them and facilitate a sense that they do belong in medicine (Woodhead et al., 2021; Tonkin, 2022). I conducted a scooping review which explored mentoring for medical and healthcare students from racialized minorities. The findings from this review will be used to help shape our pilot of the Black mentoring scheme.


Project overview

The objective of the project was to identify and analyse mentoring programmes for underrepresented students from ethnic minority background in medicine and healthcare to increase a sense of belonging and diversity in these fields. The scoping review was carried out in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework for scoping reviews guidelines. The library databases Education Resources Information Centre and Ovid; which consisted of MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO, reference lists, journals and reviews were used to locate studies, in order to collect data.  The preliminary results suggest that students from ethnic minority backgrounds found formal mentoring schemes beneficial however, whether this translated to student retention and career progression is unclear.