Aims Mentoring has been shown to be important for personal and professional development of doctors. This study aimed to assess the current awareness of and demand for mentoring amongst paediatricians in the UK. This will enable appropriate development and targeting of resources and support, in addition to assisting paediatricians in training to meet curriculum requirements in this area.
Methods A survey was circulated via institutional communication tools to all members and fellows of the RCPCH, seeking views on interest in, and provision and experience of, mentoring and related activities. The responses were analysed and results used to develop recommendations and strategies to improve RCPCH support of mentoring in the UK.
Results 312 paediatricians responded. Findings showed that the majority of respondents are “mentoring naive” in a formal sense but reported some informal experience of delivering mentoring (19% formally, 44% informally). There is a perception that existing local support for formal mentoring is limited, and exists either via mentoring schemes or training courses (33% aware of a local scheme, 69% perceived local provision to be inadequate). RCPCH support for mentoring is welcomed by trainees, SAS doctors and consultants (71–79% supported RCPCH provision of support; 32–45% supported signposting to non-RCPCH provision). In addition, there is pan-region support for increasing emphasis on and availability of mentoring schemes and resources (high interest (68%) in attending RCPCH blended mentoring courses). There is interest in both hierarchical and peer-to-peer mentoring relationships. Concerningly, there is poor knowledge about trainee mentoring curriculum requirements (only 16% aware) across all grades.
Conclusion There is limited experience of formal mentoring, and poor awareness of mentoring-related curriculum requirements amongst paediatricians in the UK. RCPCH support of mentoring activities is welcomed by all grades of paediatricians. This data will be used to inform development of future resources and support, including specific standards to support delivery of effective mentoring schemes. Future possibilities include development of a RCPCH-led mentoring scheme (with the potential for training courses and an accredited mentor register) in addition to increasing awareness of mentoring related curriculum requirements for all grades of paediatricians.
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