The ‘two-way street’ offers rewarding benefits and a sense of connection for both mentors and mentees alike, past participants say.
The value of being exposed to good mentorship has been documented by many GPs, including RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins.
The RACGP Mentoring Program facilitates relationships between experienced GPs to volunteer their time as a mentor to support another member of their profession, while mentees can access support to further their general practice career.
Applications for the 2024 program are now open until 12 November.
Dr Maung Maung Sein is currently in his second year as a mentor after completing the 2022 program, which he told newsGP has been a ‘very positive’ experience that has led him to again apply for next year’s intake.
‘I would recommend people to apply because it is rewarding for a professional career that aligns with the outline and guidance from the program,’ Dr Sein said.
The first step on the Mentoring Program is training, delivered free via online webinars to RACGP members, followed by a second stage of matching participants with a suitable mentor/mentee, undertaken by the college’s leadership team.
Consideration is given to individual strengths, needs and interests, and the RACGP aims to make the most of the mentoring relationship for both parties to develop a positive and supportive relationship.
A voluntary position, mentoring provides opportunity to share experiences and insights gained through supporting and nurturing the development of another GP.
Like Dr Sein, many of the program’s mentors return year after year.
Originally from Myanmar (Burma) where he completed his medical degree, Dr Sein then relocated to Australia in 2010 where he worked in hospitals, and as a general practice registrar in Tasmania. He currently practices as a GP in the Weston Creek district of the ACT.
Being a mentor in the RACGP program has also helped his general practice role.
‘Being involved in the program [gave me] a sense of belonging to the GP community from the self-reflective review of clinical and management roles, including holistic care as GPs’ core values,’ he said.
‘Self-care for social and emotional wellbeing is also paramount. The vast differences in overseeing professional life will be witnessed after joining the program – and I highly recommend applying.’
A two-way street, the RACGP’s Mentoring Program aims to improve connectivity between colleagues and patients, enhance wellbeing, and strengthen confidence in leadership and clinical skills for both mentors and mentees.
One of the mentees on the 2022 program was Dr Marta Forner, who told newsGP her experience was ‘very beneficial and helpful’ as an overseas doctor.
‘I wholeheartedly recommend [the program] to everyone because your mentor will personally guide you through the process of working as a GP in Australia,’ she said.
‘I am from Spain holding a specialty in family and community medicine, and I achieved recognition in the PEP specialty program.
‘It is hard to manage everything as an overseas doctor, and my mentor has been awesome in helping me with that and managing the stress. Additionally, the monthly meetings provide an opportunity to connect with other doctors around the world who are in similar situations, which has been incredibly helpful.
‘Undoubtedly, I would recommend this program.’
Full details on the program and how to apply are available on the RACGP website.
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