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Near-peer mentorship: a pilot programme to improve support for new doctors
  1. Alexandra Peterson1,
  2. Hannah Monaghan2
  1. 1 Core Medical Trainee, South East Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Deputy Director of Medical Education, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexandra Peterson, Core Medical Trainee, South East Scotland, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; alexandrampeterson{at}


Introduction Transition from medical student to Foundation Year 1 (FY1) doctor is often challenging. New doctors commonly report feeling stressed and unsupported.1–4 In order to improve support for FY1s, we piloted a peer mentorship scheme. We evaluated the impact of having a near-peer mentor in Foundation Year 2 (FY2) in addition to the traditional Educational Supervisor on FY1s’ experience of their first year of practice.

Methods 190 Foundation Year doctors (FYs) volunteered (95 FY1s, 95 FY2s). FY1-FY2 dyads were assigned according to similar rotation assignments in the FY1 year. Dyads were encouraged to communicate informally as well as meet face-to-face three times over the one-year mentorship period. Feedback was sought regularly via online survey.

Results Response to a one-year evaluation survey was 32/95 FY1s, 65/95 FY2s. 94% of respondents reported having both mentor and Educational Supervisor was beneficial. 84.4% of FY1s reported ‘having a peer mentor helped [them] feel supported in the transition from medical student to FY1.' 99% of respondents recommended the programme should continue.

The programme is currently running for a second year. 61% of 2017/2018 FY1 participants (58/95) have volunteered as FY2-mentors in 2018/2019.

Conclusions Near-peer mentorship enhances support for FY1 doctors. This intervention was widely accepted and received positive evaluations from participants. We provide a simple, low-cost model that could be replicated and adapted to improve support for doctors in training.

  • mentoring
  • support
  • development
  • trainees
  • medical leadership

Statistics from


  • Contributors AP created and implemented the programme, gathered and analysed feedback, and wrote this paper. HM supervised programme implementation, feedback collection, and edited this paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval As a pilot programme of an educational intervention, approval and supervision for the intervention was sought and obtained from the NHS Lothian Medical Education Directorate. The NHS Education Scotland (NES) South East Scotland Foundation Unit was also supportive. Findings and evaluation of the intervention were reported to the Medical Education Directorate. The study did not involve research on human subjects.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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