Aim Mentoring has been identified as an important process in personal and professional development for doctors. Peer Mentoring is a core skill specified within the RCPCH curriculum. We developed, implemented and evaluated a Programme for provision of Peer Mentoring within our School of Paediatrics.
Methods 18 junior trainees received individual Peer Mentoring from a specifically trained senior trainee over a one year period. 18 Peer Mentees were randomly selected from volunteers recruited at the regional ST1 Induction. 18 Peer Mentors of ST5 level upwards were recruited and selected by anonymised competitive application.
Peer Mentors undertook a tailored programme of training, with defined learning objectives, mapped against established standards. This was subsequently reinforced by experiential learning which included regular meetings with the Peer Mentee, completion of a reflective portfolio and attendance at facilitated Action Learning Sets.
Results 90% of ST1 trainees expressed interest in participating in the Programme. We recruited to capacity and 16/18 pairs successfully completed the Programme. Satisfaction was high: 100% of Peer Mentors and 82% of mentees enjoyed the experience of participating in the Programme. 100% of Peer Mentors and 94% of mentees felt the Programme to be useful.
Subjects discussed in sessions were predominantly work-related; professional development and accessing learning opportunities were discussed by 94% of pairs, followed by work-life balance and performance issues (both 82%).
Both Peer Mentors and Mentees reported acquisition of a wide range of skills useful for a range of applications. 94% of Peer Mentors wished to continue in this role and all intended to use the skills in their workplace and, later, as an Educational Supervisor. 77% of Peer Mentees reported greater proactivity in seeking new learning opportunities and improved decision-making skills. Improved stress management was also mentioned. 75% reported enhanced ability to deal with new situations and 88% reported improved self-confidence. 76% reported a positive change in their overall outlook and approach to their professional lives.
Conclusion Our successful Programme represents a novel and sustainable approach to meeting both the demonstrated demand and the RCPCH curriculum requirement for Peer Mentoring. Both Peer mentors and mentees developed versatile and sustainable skills for the future.
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