A recent ice-breaker session introduced the benefits of mentor/mentee relationships to Junior Medical Officers (JMOs) at Alice Springs Hospital. The formal program was run by the Medical Education Unit at Alice Springs Hospital and co-hosted with Flinders Northern Territory, Regional Training Hub (FNT RTH). The program matched mentors to mentees. Dr Nina Kilfoyle (Co-Director of Clinical Training and General Practitioner (Emergency) introduced and explored the structure of the mentor/mentee relationship in terms of dynamics and outcomes. Dr Sam Heard, Central Australia Medical Director FNT RTH, spoke about the Hub’s objectives and some great bonding activities for junior doctors that are in the pipeline such as the upcoming cultural immersion opportunities in remote community.
The session set some parameters for attendees in terms of objectives and expectations of mentors and mentees. The model used is called the “Near to Peer program” – more experienced JMOs are providing mentoring and support to Intern (graduate) Medical Officers. Overall goals of the program are to assist Interns with achieving professional goals whilst also having a positive impact on stress levels, improved job satisfaction and wellbeing. Suggestions to help frame the sessions are:
- Using the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, What next?) model as a way of coaching mentees through problems/issues
- Using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) model when discussing professional goals
The commitments of a JMO’s learning cycle leave little time for re-inventing the wheel. Here the mentor program steps in and demonstrates how a mentee can build on the mentor’s experiences to progress. A mentor comes away with the valuable gains of building leadership skills and learning to be supportive and patient. The mentor also learns the responsibilities and parameters of leadership.
Participants are eager to network for success beginning with that all-important cup of Java.