"I wanted to be part of the solution" - A mentor explains her role

Access to effective mentoring is increasingly important in the development of all paediatricians. A consultant paediatrician and RCPCH Mentoring Champion tells us about her mentoring role...

I have enjoyed seeing the scheme start up and begin to grow.

What attracted me to the role of mentor?

I became a mentor because I identified an unmet need in the organisation in which I work [a paediatric tertiary teaching hospital], and I wanted to be part of the solution to meet that need.

Massive expansion within our general paediatric consultant team meant that six new consultants were all appointed within a very short space of time and all started work around the same time. I recognised that having “graduated” from a closely supervised paediatric training scheme, they might need some peer support, and came up with the idea of a pilot scheme for newly appointed consultants. It was well received and has now been rolled out Trust wide.

What training did I undertake?

I enrolled on an RCPCH training course for mentors and also joined the Mentoring Champions Network which, along with the RCPCH website, has been a very useful source of support.

What do I enjoy about mentoring?

It has been extremely rewarding to encourage the mentees within the scheme to support each other...

I now mentor a number of “new” consultant colleagues from various specialty areas within the organisation, and each one is unique in the support they have sought. It is fascinating to hear about their perceived challenges and the innovative ways in which they work out how to overcome these!

It has been extremely rewarding to encourage the mentees within the scheme to support each other, as well as seeking support from their mentors, and I have learned a lot from them all.

How has the role of mentor affected my professional and personal development?

I am determined to get time for mentoring recognised in consultant job plans...

I have enjoyed seeing the scheme start up and begin to grow. There is increasing enthusiasm among colleagues to volunteer to mentor, and newly appointed colleagues now seek out a mentor even before we have a chance to welcome them to the Trust and make them the offer of a mentor.

I have been able to reflect on the way I support colleagues and it has encouraged me to actively seek local training opportunities for colleagues who wish to become part of the scheme. I am also determined to get time for mentoring recognised in consultant job plans along with time for educational supervision and appraisal.

How does the role of mentor play out day to day?

I am conscious that being a positive role model is a huge part of mentoring, and having set up the new consultant scheme I recognise that I am also mentoring the mentors which is also a very interesting role to play.

I would very much like to cement the progress we have already made by ensuring that colleagues are aware of the excellent resources available on the RCPCH website and by establishing local face to face training for colleagues from all specialties within the Trust.


Join the RCPCH Mentoring Champions Network

Visit our mentoring support page