“A mentor is not someone who walks ahead of us and tells us how they did it. A mentor is someone who walks alongside us to guide us on what we can do.”

– Simon Sinek

Dr Pamela Gebrehiwot and Dr

Dr Pamela Gebrehiwot and Dr

About the RPGSA Mentoring Program

The Rural Generalist Program South Australia’s Mentoring Program focuses on offering mentoring that supports rural medical trainees throughout their training journey and support integration into our regional communities. This program facilitates trainee’s access to rural generalists, other trainees and members of our rural local communities that can support them with navigating career choices, training pathways, college choices and identifying what they may need when joining a new community through the real life experiences and knowledge of their mentors.

You will need to sign up to the RGPSA before accessing a mentor. Mentors do not need to sign up.

Sign up to the RGPSA

Why have a mentor?

Mentoring is a supportive learning relationship between a mentor and a mentee that serves to enrich the mentee’s professional journey and develop resiliency to achieve success. Traditionally, drawn from their own experiences and learning, the mentor provides broader or different perspectives, advice, information and connection to help inform the mentees choices or decisions.

Mentoring plays a critical role in helping aspiring rural generalists and rural GPs to thrive, feel supported and achieve a sense of belonging within their professional and community environments.  A mentor can also provide guidance in relation to career planning and skill development and help inspire rural generalist trainees to pursue their educational, career and life goals. Moreover, mentors facilitate access to networks, communities and individuals or specific resources to support the mentee’s goals and aspirations.

“A mentor may share with a mentee (or protege) information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modelling. A mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources”

Bryson D. Continuing professional development and mentoring. J Vis Commun Med. 2022 Jan;45(1):64-66.

Dr Misao Katasuka & Dr Angelo Navavatne at Whyalla Hospital and Health Service

Dr Misao Katasuka & Dr Angelo Navavatne at Whyalla Hospital and Health Service

Is this the right program for you?

The RGPSA Mentoring Program aims to provide long term self directed access to mentoring for doctors on a rural training pathway and is additional to the career coaching, guidance and mentoring already offered at each stage in the training pathway and can be maintained while you also access these other specific supports. However, unlike these existing supports, the RGPSA program will span the gaps that can be experienced between the different training stages or where advice and support is needed to assist in identifying that next step. You will also have access to specific community mentors to assist with integration into a new regional community, someone to help guide you in accessing local community services and support, meet people and get to know a new community.

You decide how long, the purpose and who you have the mentoring relationship with.

Mentee Eligibility

Mentees eligible for the RGPSA Mentoring Program are:

  • Medical practitioners who are living and working in a rural community MMM3 – 7 location, including rural prevoca­tional trainees, rural generalist registrars and Fellowed GPs

Or

  • Final year medical student who are interested in exploring the rural generalist pathway and transition to rural training
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students at any level who are interested in exploring the rural generalist pathway and transition to rural training

Others will be considered on an as needs basis. Please contact us to discuss.

Dr Joseph Snyder, Dr Natalie Lee with Medical Education Officer Tracy Paterson in Whyalla

Dr Joseph Snyder, Dr Natalie Lee with Medical Education Officer Tracy Paterson in Whyalla

Mentors

Being a mentor can be a means to ‘give back’ to your community and for rural generalism, in particular, it can be highly valuable as it is a field that can at times be difficult to navigate due to current low visibility and awareness. Becoming a mentor also offers a means to help build a community of practice for regional South Australia and to step outside one’s norm and gain new insights and understanding of how the world looks through someone else’s eyes, helping mentors with innovation and new idea generation. For instance, the learnings that come from discussing clinical challenges with junior doctors can help to bring new perspectives to a problem.

There are many reasons to become a mentor, though there is little more rewarding than knowing you are making a positive impact on someone else’s life.

Responsibilities of mentors and mentees

Below is a summary of overarching roles and responsibilities for mentors and mentees.

RGPSA Mentoring Program Terms and Conditions

 

Please note: To avoid any conflicts of interest with training, mentors and mentees must not be in a formal supervisor: trainee relationship as part of their employment, training or attainment of a qualification. If a mentor and mentee in such a relationship are matched through the system or are in an existing match any such relationship shall be avoided or ceased until such time as the supervision relationship ends. Please see T&C for further details.

Medical training mentor role:
  • Setting and agreeing on ground rules, and modes of communication, for the mentoring relationship
  • Listening actively with interest, holding the focus on the mentee’s agenda
  • Managing the framework of the mentoring sessions, while encouraging the mentee to take responsibility for the content
  • Helping the mentee to set goals for the mentoring relationship, their career progression and professional development
  • Contributing to the development of communities of practice in rural, regional and remote South Australia
  • Providing “discipline-specific” advice to the mentee about their application in a rural context
  • Helping the mentee to gain an understanding of, and connection to the rural context
  • Helping the mentee to navigate training pathways and college training requirements
  • Setting tasks which help the mentee develop skills and behaviours, make rural connections, and/or achieve their goals
  • Helping the mentee to see the bigger and longer-term picture
  • Helping a mentee to reframe how he or she views something, or to consider a different perspective
  • Taking an interest in the mentee’s progress
  • Ensure there is no conflict of interest with a mentoring relationship to any formal supervisory role of a trainee. This may mean not accepting a mentoring relationship with a current trainee they are supervising.
Community mentor role
  • Setting and agreeing on ground rules, and modes of communication, for the mentoring relationship
  • Listening actively with interest, holding the focus on the mentee’s agenda
  • Managing the framework of the mentoring sessions, while encouraging the mentee to take responsibility for the content
  • Helping the mentee to gain an understanding of, and connection to the rural context
  • Helping the mentee to navigate the local rural community, access supports and services and connect into the community
  • Setting tasks which help the mentee to make rural connections, and/or explore their new environment and local services
  • Helping a mentee to reframe how he or she views the local environment, or to consider a different perspective
  • Taking an interest in the mentee’s progress.
Mentee’s role
  • Setting and agreeing on ground rules, and modes of communication, for the mentoring relationship
  • Setting goals and agenda for the mentoring relationship; taking responsibility for their progression of those goals and personal and professional development
  • Being committed and professional in mentoring interactions, which includes taking responsibility for planning sessions, attending on time and/or communicating with the mentor to reschedule, completing tasks set by the mentor (if applicable)
  • Being open to constructive feedback from the mentor
  • Being honest with the mentor
  • Sign up to the RGPSA

Sign up