‘Having a mentor helped me with difficult times’: a trainee-run mentoring project

Susana Szabo, Bonita Lloyd, Duncan McKellar, Hannah Myles, Heidi Newton, Jedda Schutz, Lisa Hahn, Cherrie Galletly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: A mentoring programme was established in South Australia in 2014 by psychiatry trainees, with the goal of reducing stress and burnout amongst first-year trainees. All first-year trainees are offered the opportunity to have a senior trainee as a mentor. This article describes the mentoring programme, presents feedback from participants and identifies areas for further development. 

    Method: The majority (72/76) of first-year trainees entering psychiatry training in South Australia from 2014–2018 were allocated a mentor. Surveys were sent out in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Twenty of 42 (48%) mentors and 17 of 42 (40%) of mentees completed a 10-item questionnaire, with free text responses. 

    Results: Mentee feedback was mostly positive, reporting that mentors offered them reassurance and support. The most common challenges were advice about training, managing work-life balance and issues with supervision. The main barrier to the mentoring programme was lack of time to meet. Mentors identified that they would have liked more training in mentoring. 

    Conclusion: The trainee mentoring programme has been a useful initiative. As consultant psychiatrists are likely to provide mentoring for more junior colleagues, the authors propose that training in mentoring should be part of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists education programme.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-233
    Number of pages4
    JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
    Issue number3
    Early online date17 Jan 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    • doctors in training
    • mentor programme
    • psychiatry training
    • welfare


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