Entering a specialist training programme in the specialty you wish to work in for the rest of your career is an incredibly exciting time. However, you may be unsure where to go for help and support when you need it (as we all do), especially if you’ve moved deanery after your foundation programme, and feedback from trainees shows that it’s not always clear where to go for advice.
This page provides you with information about the support network around you as you pursue your training and subsequent career in O&G.
What is a mentor, and why should I have one?
Mentoring is a relationship between two individuals in which one guides the other to help them develop personally and professionally. Mentors are useful when things are going well, to help you take advantage of your opportunities, as well as in more challenging times. You might turn to a mentor for help in times of:
- Difficulties (e.g. communciation or relationship difficulties, or stress)
Who should be my mentor?
Your mentor should not be your Educational Supervisor or tutor, because being a mentor is a specific and important role on its own. It can be useful to have advice from someone who isn’t responsible for your education.
What makes a good mentor?
A mentor should be:
- A good listener
- Skilled in feedback
- Have chemistry with you (intellectual and emotional compatibility)
- An effective leader
How do I find a mentor?
A useful starting point is your deanery or trust, many of which run mentorship schemes. Try looking on your deanery website for more information.
The RCOG Academic Board has set up a mentorship scheme for academic trainees. For more information, read the academic mentorship scheme guidelines and see the list of academic mentors.
Where can I find more information?
The following are useful sources of information about mentoring:
- Bayley H, Chambers R, Donovan C. The good mentoring toolkit for healthcare. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing; 2004.
- BMA advice on mentoring
- Chambers R, Mohanna K, Thornett A, Field S. Guiding doctors in managing their careers: a toolkit for tutors, trainers, mentors and appraisers. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd; 2006.
- Connor MP, Bynoe AG, Redfern N, Pokora J, Clarke J. Developing senior doctors as mentors: a form of continuing professional development. Med Educ 2000;34:747–53.
- European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)
To contact the RCOG Workplace Advisor, who leads on delivering the College’s strategy to combat undermining behaviour in the workplace, please email Sophie Johnsson or call +44 20 7772 6448. Your local RCOG Workplace Behaviour Champion is also there to help and support you.