Reimagining Healthcare: Egan Mentoring and the Changed Medical Mind-Set

Alison Steven, Nancy Redfern

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

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This presentation will explore a crosscutting theme ‘‘changed medical mind-set,’’ emerging from a series of studies into mentoring for U.K. doctors undertaken by the author over more than a decade. Whilst there are many types of mentoring, the approach used in the initiatives studied is based upon the Egan skilled helper model and does not rest on notions of a senior-protege relationship. Although not the focus of these studies, participants have consistently and spontaneously reported changes in their way of thinking—some expressing this as life changing and profound; some as a moment of pause and reflection, a relearning of forgotten skills; and others as prompting reflection on a medical culture (and discourse) which perpetuates a certain way of thinking and being. The studies included qualitative and mixed methods explorations and evaluations of the perceived benefits of involvement in mentoring (2004), mentoring schemes (2008), mentor development initiatives and courses (2015), and an ongoing British Medical Association–funded study into the relationships between mentoring activities and Doctors’ Health and Wellbeing. The studies have drawn on social constructionism (Gergen, 1999) and been based in the view that, like education and learning, mentoring is a set of complex social processes which is individual, socially negotiated, and context bound. The methodologies employed draw on grounded theory, illuminative evaluation, and latterly elements of realistic evaluation. Thus, it seems engagement in Egan style mentoring activities (learning about mentoring, doing mentoring, using mentoring skills) has an impact on medical mind-sets and potentially on medical culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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