Toward Better Support of Healthcare Professionals Advancing Multidisciplinary Team Mentoring

Anupama Roy Chowdhury*

Department of Geriatric medicine, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore

*Corresponding Author:
Anupama Roy Chowdhury
Department of Geriatric Medicine
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, 90 Yishun Central
768828 Singapore
Tel: +65558000
Fax: +66023646
E-mail: [email protected]

Submitted date: March 29, 2017; Accepted date: March 29, 2017; Published date: April 05, 2017

 
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Abstract

Whilst patient centred care has made huge strides in clinical care, care of healthcare professionals sadly lags some ways behind. This lack of support for healthcare professionals in many developing settings is underscored with healthcare’s slow transition toward multidisciplinary care that sees individual professionals working within a team to deliver holistic support to patients with complex psychosocial, cultural and societal care issues. All too often both specialists and trainees within these multidisciplinary teams (MDT) are lack holistic and consistent professional and personal support.

Whilst patient centred care has made huge strides in clinical care, care of healthcare professionals sadly lags some ways behind. This lack of support for healthcare professionals in many developing settings is underscored with healthcare’s slow transition toward multidisciplinary care that sees individual professionals working within a team to deliver holistic support to patients with complex psychosocial, cultural and societal care issues [1-7]. All too often both specialists and trainees within these multidisciplinary teams (MDT) are lack holistic and consistent professional and personal support.

These concerns have inspired efforts to forward a new form of mentoring – MDT mentoring that would see senior clinicians from the various constituent members of the MDT team mentor trainees and support MDT colleagues from different clinical specialities. Recent reviews into mentoring in medicine, surgery, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social work that represent the key specialities within a multidisciplinary team (MDT) suggest that mentoring could provide much desired holistic, timely, appropriate and individualised support for healthcare professionals working with MDTs [1-7]. In addition, similarities in their practices could advance a common mentoring platform that would improve oversight of mentoring relationships, clarify mentoring goals, roles and responsibilities and attenuate the risks of “exploitative” mentoring relationships and negative mentoring experiences [1-11].

Standing in the way of effective implementation of a comprehensive MDT mentoring approach is a failure to acknowledge mentoring’s evolving, context-specific, goalsensitive, mentee-, mentor-, organizational- and relationaldependent nature (henceforth mentoring’s nature) that has limited study of mentoring programs and comparisons of mentoring data from various settings [1-7]. Studies into mentoring also fail to take heed of the conflation of mentoring with practices such as supervision, preceptorship, role modelling, sponsorship and advising and continue to intermingle various mentoring approaches ignoring the distinctive nature of peer, near-peer, leadership, youth, patient, family and mentoring between a senior clinician and a novice [1-11]. These failures have coloured understanding of mentoring and its practice and limited the use of mentoring in formal training as has a lack of long term mentoring data [1-11].

Whilst it is heartening to see recent efforts to better understand the mentoring process and forward a platform for MDT mentoring approach, the future of mentoring research lies in acknowledgment of mentoring’s nature and the distinctiveness of the various forms of mentoring.

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