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Trainee information

Mentoring scheme for trainee Paediatricians in South-East Scotland

What is mentoring?

The RCPCH definition of mentoring is “a process by which an experienced, highly regarded, empathic person (the mentor) guides another individual (the mentee) in the development and re-examination of their own ideas, learning and personal and professional development” 1.  It is a confidential and professional relationship between mentor and mentee, except in the rare circumstance where patient safety concerns arise. There are notable differences between mentoring and supervision, although there may be some overlap, please see reference 3. One key difference is that the mentee takes ownership of the agenda.

Why is mentoring important?

Mentoring has been shown to help with staff retention, professional and personal development, increased job satisfaction, and enhanced problem-solving skills for mentees. There is published evidence  showing that access to mentoring is associated with positive outcomes for trainees, such as academic and career progression, as well as positive perception of their speciality2. It is supported by the GMC and BMA3.

Who is offered mentoring?

The South-East Scotland Paediatric mentoring and buddy schemes were set up in August 2017, following RCPCH guidance. We hope to be able to offer mentoring to all Paediatric trainees in due course. Transition periods have been identified as times when mentoring is most beneficial. We therefore offer mentoring to the following groups at present.

  1. Trainees returning from time out of programme such as maternity leave or research
  1. Trainees who are new to the deanery above ST1
  1. Buddy system for new ST1s

All new ST1s are offered a ‘peer buddy’. This is an ST2/3/4 who is available to support the new ST1 as they enter paediatric training in SES.

If you feel you would benefit from mentoring but do not fall into one of these groups, please contact the team to discuss whether we are able to make an exception.

Who are the mentors?

The mentors are a group of enthusiastic paediatric trainees and consultants with a range of different backgrounds. All have attended specialist training in becoming a mentor (such as the RCPCH mentoring course). Mentees will be matched with a mentor appropriate for their stage and requirements.

Is mentoring mandatory?

The Paediatric mentoring programme in SE Scotland is available for trainees to utilise on returning to work after time out of programme. It is entirely voluntary, but if you would like a mentor, you will be matched to an experienced mentor to help support you through this period. The team aim to contact eligible trainees before their return to work date. Mentors and mentees will be asked to sign a formal contract at the start of their relationship. It will last as long as agreed between the two parties. The mentee will set the agenda. If the relationship is not working for any reason, then it can be ended. The mentoring leads can be contacted at any time if a problem arises.

Is the scheme being evaluated?

Yes. The mentoring leads are collecting and responding to anonymous feedback from mentors and mentees. As this is a relatively new programme, continual assessment of suitability and efficacy is being undertaken in order to optimise the experience for all participants.


Consultant lead – Dr Claire Hathorn, RCPCH Mentoring champion

Consultant lead – Dr Jennifer McGill, RCPCH Mentoring champion

Trainee leads – Dr Kathleen Duffin – ST5 Paediatrics, OOP for research, RCPCH Mentoring champion

Dr Leanne Brennan – ST8 Paediatrics






  1. RCPCH website – Mentoring Champions Training. Setting up a mentoring programme.
  2. GMC website – Leadership and management of all Doctors
  3. A, Murdoch-Eaton D, 2015. Supervisor or mentor: is there a difference? Implications for paediatric practice. Arch Dis Child; 100:873-878

This page was last updated on: 23.06.2022 at 08.49