Mentorship has a valuable pastoral role in enabling trainees to achieve their maximum potential, whilst developing leadership and interpersonal skills.
The ASiT Mentoring Scheme aims to provide surgical trainees and those interested in a surgical career with a formal mentor, separate from the clinical environment. The scheme was conceptualised following the results of a national survey of ASiT members from all surgical specialities suggesting there was a great desire for surgical mentors and for training in mentoring others.
We are proud to have trained over 60 ASiT mentors and have mentored over 130 mentees. These numbers are likely to grow over the coming years, as we move from using an external coach, to using our own trained faculty. We have been able to remove the associated cost of an external trainer and the ASiT mentoring course is now free to trainees. As the mentoring scheme evolves, we have streamlined the course into a 2-day weekend course, with virtual follow-up/refresher and masterclass sessions. We will continue to develop based on feedback from mentors and mentees.
We sometimes think that mentoring in surgery should be about career progression only. The ASiT mentoring scheme caters for this. However, it also allows trainees to discuss any goals that they aspire to achieve, whether they be personal, professional or ethical. Mentee feedback confirms that being able to talk through difficult work relationships or personal conflicts can maximise performance at work. The ASiT course teaches skills in high-level listening, questioning, challenge, feedback and techniques to help trainees move past self-limiting beliefs.
Several mentees have mentioned:
"I’ve never talked to anyone about this..."
"I haven’t felt able to discuss this with anyone..."
We believe that everything that happens to us, even in our personal lives, impacts our ability to perform at our very best - so ASiT's scheme is very much about maximising potential. We want to look after each other and make sure that every surgical trainee feels supported.
You can access the ASiT article 'Modern Mentors', published in RCSEd Surgeons News HERE.
ASiT has also published consensus recommendations for mentoring programmes, which can be accessed HERE.
As part of the mentoring scheme, we run the ASiT Foundation Skills in Mentoring course to train and expand the number of available mentors. This involves a new revised 1-day course (previously a 3-day mentoring course). At the end of the course, you will receive a course certificate and join the register of trained ASiT mentors. The course is free for ASiT members (a deposit is required which will be refunded if you attend). CLICK HERE to see a typical course programme outline.
You can join the scheme as a mentee, mentor or both! If you are a surgical trainee or are interested in surgery and want to join as a mentee (all grades welcome, from medical student to registrar), we have a cohort of trained mentors to help you reach your maximum potential. Applications are also open for those interested in mentoring (who can then complete the Foundation Skills in Mentoring Course if they have no training in mentoring). To apply to either role, please complete the relevant forms in the resources below.
ASiT Mentoring Lead: Piriyah Sinclair
ASiT Associate Mentoring Lead: Nathan Walker