Waikato Faculty pilots GP mentoring programme

25 September 2020

In July 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, the College’s Waikato Faculty started piloting a mentorship programme - open to all local members with financial support available. 
 
Through the mentoring pilot [Ka Hono], the Faculty hope to bring people together to share their experiences of their GP journey. 

Waikato Faculty Chair Dr Fiona Whitworth (pictured left) worked alongside Ōpōtiki and Cambridge GP colleagues Marieke Roelofs and Tamatoa Blaiklock, to develop the programme which took around nine months to get up and running.  

“We developed the programme to give back to our members. The journey from GPEP year 1 through to retirement can have many challenges that can affect us all in different ways,” says Fiona.  

The programme offers mentees the opportunity to have confidential and non-judgemental one-on-one discussions about the issues they are facing as a GP.  
“The mentors feel it’s a privilege to facilitate a colleague’s decision-making process and the mentees have fed back that the process has helped them decide on career development.”

“Our mentors are experienced GPs who use techniques such as ‘unconditional positive regard’ which involves accepting and supporting each other exactly as they are without judgment.  

“At the heart of the concept is the belief that every person has the personal resources within to help themselves.” 

The Faculty currently has 14 mentors spread across the region to help who have helped 13 mentees since the programme began in July, and the Faculty funds each mentee up to five sessions at $125 per session. 

“We originally planned to fund $75 per session but on reflection, we realised that cost was a barrier particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Fiona. 

So far the mentors have been enjoying providing much needed support to GPs in their local area. 

“We developed the programme to give back to our members. The journey from GPEP year 1 through to retirement can have many challenges that can affect us all in different ways,” says Fiona.  

“The mentors feel it’s a privilege to facilitate a colleague’s decision-making process and the mentees have fed back that the process has helped them decide on career development.” 

Fiona says she would recommend a mentor programme for other Faculties, but it does take time and planning.  

 

The is pilot due to finish in July 2021. The learnings will be shared through the College’s National Advisory Council, GP Pulse will also run a follow-up article. 

If your faculty would like to get some advice on setting up a mentoring programme, Fiona is happy to answer your questions. Please email waikatofaculty@rnzcgp.org.nz