Supporting the medical students
The Student Mentor Scheme at Sydney Medical School Nepean is a logical extension to the evolving medical degree.
Going beyond the niceties of making welcome the newest members of the medical professions, the medical students, the linking of a student with a senior doctor has many important benefits for both.
For some students the medical degree provides a few hurdles. For others, the enormous learning curve combined with daily increase in debt as well as isolation from family and social network, which occurs particularly with international students, is a formidable challenge.
The essence of the mentor scheme is for students and their mentors to have a long term connection. This is very different from the many short term student/doctor interactions that occur during training which in general last a few weeks to a couple of months.
The Student Mentor Scheme has the capacity to add another dimension to the University experience.
The unspoken aspect of the scheme is that it is a privilege for mentors to be involved with medical students; to get to know them better, to learn about their views of life and their views on their future.
Ultimately each member of the medical profession is first a doctor: specialisation comes later.
Mentors and their families provide an aspect to the medical profession which helps students. Those without a medical background, gain a greater insight into the life of a doctor; being part of the community, the burden and challenges that come with the privilege of caring for patients and not least the effects of being part of the medical profession on one’s family.
There are many aspects of a medical career that cannot be taught but are learnt by assimilation.
How doctors look after students is a reflection of how we see our profession. They are our future, they are important to us.
By Adrian Sheen
For more information about the Student Mentor Scheme at Sydney Medical School Nepean email: