Why develop a mentee relationship?

There are many reasons why becoming a mentee is beneficial.

As a GPEP1 there is a lot of support provided but as you move further along your career path you may find that support is less readily available. On occasion general practice may feel quite isolating. Often there are opportunities to informally talk to colleagues, but sometimes it is beneficial to speak to someone who is independent of your employment situation, and not in a supervisory role. Formalising the relationship also means that mentees are less likely to feel like they are burdening an already busy GP when asking for advice. Some things that mentors and mentees discuss include values and ethics; learning to appreciate different or conflicting ideas; overcoming setbacks and obstacles; acquiring an open, flexible attitude to learning; reducing learning by trial and error; better conflict management; and managing uncertainty. The mentor-mentee relationship also fosters the sharing of experience and knowledge and mutual problem solving.

Other benefits of becoming a mentee include:

  • Networking opportunities that will enable you to belong to a community of Fellows facing the same challenges as you.
  • Access to a wide range of professional development opportunities.
  • Events held specifically for new Fellows, including seminars, conference sessions and leadership training.

Who can become a mentee?

Mentoring is open to new Fellows, Registrars, post-graduate doctors expressing an interest in general practice, or other Fellows who wish to be supported.

How to pick a mentor

Please contact the Kapa Kaiaka Coordinator if you are keen to be mentored.

You may already have someone in mind that you are keen to have mentor you. If you do, feel free to contact us, and we are happy to approach that person on your behalf. Note that mentors should not be in an employer/employee relationship with mentees or be in any way associated with formal assessment or supervision of mentees. It is often better if the mentor is someone from outside the practice where you work. There are some personal and professional characteristics that have been associated with good mentors. These characteristics include doctors who are collaborative, intellectual, and who are skilled clinicians and teachers.

We are approaching a number of GPs in Northland to develop a database of mentors, and we will attempt to match these mentors appropriately with mentees. In order for us to do this it will help for you to tell us your professional interests; whether you are willing to meet your mentor online using Skype; what you want to get out of your mentor relationship, and any other considerations that are important to you. In the event that a mentor/mentee relationship does not work for whatever reason, we are available to help and to organise a new mentor if needed.