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Near-peer mentorship: a pilot programme to improve support for new doctors


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

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