In Peer Mentoring, the mentor and mentee are relatively close in terms of age, experience and rank. This allows empathy to develop more readily and enable mutual support and collaboration. It also has the potential for social interaction within the mentoring relationship which may increase the sense of community.
Potential participants could come from a singular medical specialty, or mentoring could be provided across several specialties. Foundation doctors are a particularly interesting mentee group as they rotate through specialties and are at a crucial stage in their career.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear difference in rate of uptake depending on whether the scheme is run as an opt-in or opt-out model. That is to say, if mentees have to sign-up (opt-in) or are automatically enrolled, but can indicate if they don’t want to take part (opt-out).
Regardless of the model used we observed in our schemes that in about 1/3 of the matched pairs a sustained mentoring relationship develops. As this might yield greater satisfaction for the mentors involved we are currently using an opt-in model. (an example of this can be found here).