The Bristol School of Anaesthesia runs a pastoral mentoring scheme for trainees throughout their rotation. Mentors are volunteer consultants working in our school, College Tutors are usually excluded from the list but are always available for advice and support. All trainees are asked to choose a mentor on joining the School and can stay with this person throughout their training. The mentor is able to decline the request to mentor an individual. A register is kept which is a simple list of names which will be used to highlight trainees who have not yet chosen a mentor and who can then be reminded to do so. A mentor will usually have a maximum of three trainees as mentees at any one time.
The essential feature is the confidentiality which exists on both sides of the relationship. This can be contrasted with appraisal and assessment. Although to some extent confidential, the appraisal process results in a written summary of plans agreed by the appraised and appraiser. Assessment is made against a standard and has a pass/fail element which must necessarily be recorded. Only the mentor relationship can be considered to be completely confidential and it is for this reason that we incorporate it into the School as a complementary support system for our trainees as they progress through training.
The extent to which an individual uses their mentor is a personal choice but all trainees are asked to choose a mentor at the start of their training programme. It is possible to change mentor at any time by arrangement with the School Support Manager, who will hold the register. To see a list of the available mentors please email Julie Flowers, Education Programme Manager, Severn Postgraduate School of Anaesthesia & ICM.
How It Works
• Trainee appointed to post within the School
• Mentor Scheme explained on School website
• Trainee arrives in first hospital
• Mentor list emailed to trainee from School office, asked to select two choices
• Return choices to Julie Flowers, Manager Severn Postgraduate School of Anaesthesia & ICM
• Julie Flowers allocates mentor according to availability
• Mentor email sent to advise mentor
• Mentor makes direct contact with mentee
• Personal arrangement made (no further School input)
• Change mentor by contacting Julie Flowers, Education Programme Manager, Severn Postgraduate School of Anaesthesia & ICM
Do mentors need formal training?
Many consultants have had formal training in mentoring, although this is not an essential requirement for mentors in our school. Severn PGME run several (free) study days on mentoring (as well as others on related topics).
For more general information the AAGBI website has a large section on mentoring.