The role of a doctor is complex and include beside professional attributes, such as being a competent and experienced medical doctor able to cover complex cases, also being a teacher, being able to train and mentor junior doctors, disseminating expertise to the next generation
Consultants plays an indispensable role as educators and possess the range of skills that doctors in training need to acquire. The relationship between the trainee and the trainer is crucial in determining job satisfaction, motivation to learn and strategic career decisions. The quality of that relationship can make the difference between a post that is rewarding and one that is demoralizing.
Considering of the relationship relatively little is known about it and about how to help both parties to foster a good relationship, given the limited duration of a placement, the pressures inherent in both roles and the fraught environment in which they work.
There are few data about what makes an effective educational supervisor. Good supervisors create an educational climate within the team or unit, give constructive feedback, assess the trainees progress and their leaning needs and keep up to date as a teacher. Poor supervisors essentially neglect their role as trainers, overlook the their trainees educational needs and maybe in conflict with others. A consultant competence as a clinician is also important to the trainees, the worst supervisors may be clinically incompetent or eve maltreat their patients.
A questionnaire covering a wide range of issues about choosing a specialty and about the relation with the mentors was given to the rheumatology trainees. Most respondents described a positive interaction between themselves and their supervising consultant. They particularly appreciated positive feedback, clinical support, teaching, career advice or a social interaction that made them feel they were recognized as person. Positive interactions were associated with a positive view of medicine as a career and confidence in themselves as doctors. However some respondents described an interaction that was unreasonable demands, criticism or humiliation. These were associated with a more negative view of medicine as a career and of themselves as doctors.
In conclusion, a healthy mentoring relationship is likely to provide the mental and moral challenges essential to continue medical career and self improvement
Disclosure of Interest None declared