Background The value of mentoring in helping individuals develop confidence and resilience and focus upon career progression is acknowledged by multiple professional groups. Mentoring is also felt to be beneficial to the mentor.
Recognising this, the West Yorkshire trainees were surveyed about their interest in developing a mentoring scheme. Interest was expressed and thus senior trainees and consultants working in both training and non-training units were approached to become mentors.
Methods Mentors were signposted to mentoring training. First year trainees (ST3s) were mentored by senior trainees and more senior trainees were mentored by consultants.
To distinguish between the mentor and supervisor role, mentoring pairs were allocated to ensure mentors and mentees were not working together clinically. Mentoring relationships began in August 2017 and the scheme was evaluated after the first year.
Results The pairs met between one and five times and the mentees were universally positive about their experience of being mentored. Particular benefits were having an outside perspective and the opportunity to talk openly. Mentees scored their mentoring experience as 8.9/10 for usefulness.
Mentors reflected they had felt well prepared for their role and were happy to continue. The engagement and motivation of the trainee was identified as key in success of the mentoring relationship.
Conclusions The first year of the West Yorkshire trainee mentoring scheme has been well evaluated by both mentors and mentees. Given the acknowledged benefits of mentoring, the relatively short training and challenges of palliative medicine, it is a model which could be considered nationally.
Locally, the scheme continues and there is interest in extending it to consultants in their first year.
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