WHAT IS MENTORING
In medicine, mentoring has traditionally been a relationship between a senior clinician and a trainee, formed to facilitate professional growth. The mentor provides guidance and expertise on career progression, as well as support and wisdom in overcoming hardships and maintaining balance throughout the mentees training.
Mentoring for female physicians has a number of positive consequences. Evidence suggests that mentoring for women doctors can improve their research participation and post-graduate qualifications. In addition to leading them to leadership positions and becoming mentors themselves.
BARRIERS TO MENTORING
There is an increasing drive to support more formal mentoring programs. The College of Intensive Care Medicine currently encourages trainees to have their own mentors, but leaves it up to the trainees and individual ICUs to form these relationships.
Female doctors are less likely to have a mentor, or be a mentor themselves. Here are some potential reasons why:
A lack of senior female mentors, or mentors that female physicians may identify with.
Not wanting to be perceived as requiring help.
Lack of time.
Hesitation to put themselves forward, in case of rejection from the potential mentor.
Male mentors may feel uncomfortable with being a mentor to a junior female doctor.
Senior clinicians lacking time to commit to a mentoring relationship.
Lack of mentoring skills.
MANY TYPES OF MENTORING!
Different types of mentoring have been defined, dependent on the mentee’s reasons for seeking a mentor, and many doctors will have more than one through out their career.
Some examples are:
WIN is committed to ensuring female intensivists and trainees have access to a mentor, and to being a mentor, and will facilitate this through networking events and resources listed on the website.
More resources on mentoring can be found on our mentoring resources page here