My name is Ajay and I am a Consultant Gastroenterologist working in Kettering General Hospital, Northamptonshire. I enrolled onto the BSG mentor scheme in 2018 as a mentor. I have attended structured training sessions, and was allocated a mentee. I have met up with my mentee 3 times and it has been a successful relationship, I have found it a fantastic experience and have been reflecting on why mentoring has become such an important part of my Consultant role.
As a Doctor transitions their career from trainee to new Consultant, it can be a difficult time. Imposter syndrome can be a problem for trainees and new consultants – not quite believing they are good enough to do the role they have worked so hard for.
Consultants have a wealth of experience, from navigating those difficult early days as a new Consultant to pushing on with career development, making the most of opportunities, forging new working relationships, and shaping services for patients. Ultimately as Consultants develop expertise, the Dunning-Kruger effect reverses – Consultants underestimate their abilities and competence. Not necessarily appreciating their achievements due to the ongoing challenges of their day to day role.
Mentoring brings together these two groups. The mentee discusses their career plans with a mentor and is given confidence that they will achieve their ultimate objective to become a successful Consultant. The Mentor gains also, by imparting their wisdom to the mentee, it validates their success in becoming a Consultant. It allows a Consultant to reflect on their journey and take pride in their achievements. The ultimate aim is for the mentee to achieve the success they desire, and the mentor to feel rewarded in that the guidance given has contributed to this success.
I have taken pride in guiding my mentee, opening up her view on what is achievable as a Consultant. I have been very satisfied in seeing the progress she has made over the year. I hope my mentee achieves the success she is aiming for, and avoids some of the pitfalls I have encountered. I am also increasingly proud of my achievements, showing my mentee what I have achieved in my 4+ years as a Consultant has allowed me to reflect on what I have done well. It has motivated me to push on with my own ambitions, and continue to grow as a Consultant.
I would wholeheartedly recommend the BSG mentorship scheme, to prospective mentees and mentors. There is so much to gain for both parties. Unsurprisingly, I have signed up for the 2019 scheme.
Dr Ajay M Verma
MD FRCP (London) MRCP (Gastroenterology) FEBGH
Consultant Gastroenterologist & Physician Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Honorary Senior Lecturer, Leicester Cancer Research Centre
Gastroenterology Specialty Lead for NIHR East Midlands Deputy Chair of RCP London New Consultants Committee