Introduction

Peer mentoring is widely recognised as beneficial for both mentors and mentees. It enables the acquisition of new and transferrable skills, has a positive impact on professional development and generates high satisfaction rates amongst participants.

In recent years several pilot mentoring schemes have been developed in various UK medical specialty training programmes, including obstetrics & gynaecology, medicine, paediatrics, surgery and psychiatry. The longest running peer mentoring scheme was established at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) in 2004.

This website and its resources are here to give practical guidance on starting up and running a peer mentoring scheme. We (The SLaM scheme leaders) share our experiences of running a peer, and more recently a near-peer, mentoring scheme. Suggested timelines for 4- and 6-months long (foundation doctors / core trainees) programmes can be found in the Resources section.

The South London Peers website also provides links to resources freely available on the internet. Before wider distribution and use, copyright agreements will need to be considered.

 

Mentoring

The Standing Committee on Post-Graduate Medical Education defines mentoring as ‘the process whereby an experienced, empathic individual guides another individual in the development and re-examination of their own ideas, learning, and personal and professional development’1. It goes on to say ‘the mentor….achieves this by listening and talking in confidence to the mentee’.

Mentoring is identified as an important aspect in supporting and developing good medical practice by the GMC2,3.  “Improved access to mentoring” has also been recognised as a key factor that would improve the working lives of doctors3, and benefits are achieved by both mentors and mentees.  There are different models of mentoring and currently there is an increased interest in developing Peer Mentoring schemes in postgraduate medical training in various specialties.

 

What is available currently

A scoping exercise was conducted in early 2015 and is available to view here:

Peer Mentoring for Doctors in Training

Following the scoping exercise, a further document on the Peer Mentoring programme at the Maudsley Training Programme:

Development of a mentoring training programme for peer mentors

A full report on Peer Mentoring was also written:

Peer Mentoring In South London

  1. Standing Committee on Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education (SCOPME). Supporting doctors and dentists at work: an enquiry into mentoring. London, SCOPME, 1998.
  2. General Medical Council. Leadership and management for all doctors. 2012.
  3. General Medical Council. Good medical practice 2013. GMC, 2013.