The Academy is proposing to pilot
a mentoring programme for medical
While mentoring initiatives do not exist everywhere, they are
becoming more common. When effective, such programmes
can provide valuable support for new or established
scientists while also establishing an open, inviting
workplace culture where people feel empowered to put
their best foot forward.
What is mentoring?
“Mentoring is a voluntary arrangement whereby an
experienced individual, outside the reporting relationship,
holds regular meetings and discussions and takes a
personal interest in guiding and supporting the development
of a less experienced person in progressing within and
beyond their immediate role” (Hale, R. 2000)
The use of the term and image of mentor, in modern times is a
sign of the importance placed on imparting wisdom in relation
to an individual’s education. Collaboration between two
individuals rather than a one way transaction is essential to the
role of mentoring:
One of the most important things for mentors is to
realise that mentees come with a variety of experience and
expectations about teaching. The role of the mentor is not to
foster an emulation of self but to encourage independence,
reflection and acquisition of the mentee’s professional style.
The rewards for mentoring are also multiple, alongside the
fact that mentors share their professional experience as well
as gaining valuable help, it is important to remember that
mentoring is also about mutual learning that can enrich both
What do mentors do?
At a glance, it might seem like all a mentor does is take a
mentee out for a cup of coffee or lunch once a week. And
while this simple action can go a long way in helping an
employee feel cared for by an organization, it’s really the bare
bones minimum of a mentor’s duties.
Good mentors mainly consists of supporting the mentee’s
developmental activities, challenging them to develop
professionally and personally and helping them to formulate
their professional vision. In the workplace mentors are typically
managers, supervisors from within the organisation or outside.
The benefits of a mentor programme
Most traditional workplace mentoring relationships involve
senior employees helping guide the personal and professional
growth of more junior colleagues. But age and organisational
hierarchy aren’t necessarily the most important factors in
today’s increasingly multigenerational workforce.
It’s more important that mentors have experience that can
help others learn. This could involve younger employees
sharing their expertise with evolving technological tools and