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PAWAS May Newsletter – Mentorship Month


Greetings everyone!

Trust that you are all well. Thank you once again for your commitment and enthusiasm in joining this group. The WhatsApp group has been very active and I must thank you all for your kind contributions. The @twikt campaign (things I wish I knew then :-)) which involved passing down pearls of wisdom obtained along our surgical journeys regardless of our stages in training/practice was very enlightening!

May Mentorship month

As I had alluded to in posts, May is our mentorship month. A survey done in 2011(Annals of African Surgery) found that over 70% of surgical residents reviewed felt that mentorship was lacking. I think a critical part of getting mentorship off the ground is as Dr Nosarav said, ‘being the change we want to see’. Layla Saka gives great advice from the corporate world on how to find a mentor and how to become a good mentor(see link below). The principles and tenets still hold for the world of science.

A girls guide to finding a mentor https://twitter.com/givememytril/status/594562429482377216

I am also including in this update a copy of the pocket mentor which is a resource generously availed to us by the association of women surgeons which provides very good advice on how to negotiate the potential surgical minefields that one may encounter as one proceeds along one’s surgical journey.

There are many types of mentoring, both formal and informal. You can have several mentors and mentees and it is not necessarily as daunting as it may sound. It is important to note that sometimes all that is required is enthusiasm and commitment to the process of being mentored and being a mentee. It is frequently a mutually beneficial experience and well worth the time invested.



As it is our mentorship month, it will be great to flip the script and hear from you all regarding which areas you would like to receive mentorship in, where you think the deficits lie, and perhaps any personal experiences of where great aspects of mentorship helped in addressing challenges/situations that you had. This purpose of this is two-fold, it helps on an individual level as reflective practitioners, to audit one’s experiences and where the gaps lie and what improvements can be made. It also helps us a group to know where to focus our mentoring efforts moving forward.


Use this month to engage in the mentorship process whether it means approaching a potential mentor (feel the fear but do it anyway. ..you’ll be surprised how many people are happy to be asked!) or taking a few people under your wing.

Happy mentoring!



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