If you are a Junior Doctor in the South West and want to find out more about joining the WARD Team, click here

If you are a Junior Doctor in the South West and want to find out more about joining the WARD Team, click here

Contact Us:


Email: admin@welldoctors.org

© 2019 WARD: Well and Resilient Doctors

What is a mentor?

“A mentor is someone who takes on the role of a trusted adviser, supporter, teacher or a wise counsel to another person.


The very basic tenant is that…

Everyone (especially gifted and intelligent doctors) are creative and can solve their own problems and wisely develop their own lives and careers. This can be aided by a skilled mentor who listens and gives information.


Listening is the DNA, the building block of being a WARD advisor. Listen with attention, appreciation, encouragement and common humanity for the other.

Attention, Appreciation & Encouragement

Attention - is an act of creation. Listening with respect and genuine interest, and without unnecessary interruption. Appreciation - the human mind works best in the presence of positivity not negativity. Encouragement simply says: ‘You matter’


Thinking of another trainee as on the same journey as you just at a different place. Thinking of others as “US and US” not “THEM and US”


Even if you only have a few minutes you can say “I have 5 minutes, for that time you have my full attention and at the end we can plan more if needed..” Urgency destroys good thinking & problem solving. 

Allow Feelings

Allow anger, exasperation, fear and tears to be expresses – Once this has settled your colleague will be able to think for themselves and listen to your information.

Giving information & advice

If you have factual information or obvious advice – give it

But giving advice may have limitations - what worked for you then may not work for another now



Problem solving

Try this 3-step method for problems without obvious answers:


  1. “The present situation?” (What’s going on?)

  2. “What would be preferable?” (Ideally where would you want to be?)

  3. “What choices do you have?” (How will you get there?)

Then add you own thought and ideas



Asking open questions

Asking open questions is a friendly way to engage people in a conversation and to prevent you leaping to assumptions.

Open questions begin with the following words: WHY, HOW, WHAT, DESCRIBE, TELL ME ABOUT..., OR WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT...


Closed questions begin with the following words: ARE YOU..., DID HE.., WON’T THEY…,  are useful for specific information (“do you know where to get a cup of tea at night?”) but may close down conversation to yes or no or sound jundgemental. It’s the difference between “shouldn’t you lose weight!” versus “how are you going to look after yourself?”

Serious Problems

What if the trainee has a really serious problem that needs more expert help than me?

  • Listen even if you can’t help

  • Advise them the problem needs expert help

  • Suggest they see the appropriate professional or someone who might know


Places to seek help


  • Colleagues

  • Clinical Supervisor / Educational Supervisor / Mentor

  • College Tutor / DME

  • Occupational health

  • Deanery (PSU/TPD)

  • Union (BMA)

  • Defence Union (MDU/MPS)



  • Family and Friends

  • General Practitioner

  • Counselling available from most hospitals (occupational health, GP, BMA, GMC)




Further information If you would like to discuss how you are getting on with your WARD advisor role – you can contact your local hospital WARD lead or WARD head office: admin@welldoctors.org or Sally Webber (trained mentor/coach and WARD advisor: sallywebber1234@gamil.com)

For a powerpoint version of the above information, please click below.

Sally Webber 2019