Waikato Faculty focus

20 April 2021

Category: College and members

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More support and advice for new Fellows聽 has been made available as part of the mentorship scheme Ka Hono, masterminded by the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Faculty.

The mentoring initiative pairs new doctors with senior GPs who have a career鈥檚 worth of knowledge and experience at their disposal. Until now, every Fellow had access to five mentoring sessions a year, and now new Fellows can access two additional sessions per year, for two years.

鈥淥ur focus within the Faculty is about connection and education, so a mentoring programme just made sense,鈥 explained Fiona Whitworth, Faculty Chair. 鈥淜a Hono has only been in place for around six months, but the feedback we are getting is very positive from both the mentorees and the mentors themselves.

鈥淲e are encouraging all our new Fellows to take up this offer, either when they鈥檙e contacted by the Faculty, or by signing聽 up via the 聽(Waikato member login required).聽After years of training with people around you and supporting you, it can be a frightening thing to suddenly be out there on your own. Pairing up with a mentor can ease that transition, 鈥 says Fiona.

The Waikato/Bay of Plenty Faculty area runs from Waihi to the East Cape and across to Hamilton, encompassing Rotorua and T膩upo.

Fiona, who has also been the Lead Medical Educator for the Bay of Plenty region, and is currently a Fellowship assessor, says the team is keen to hear from local members to find out what they would like from the Faculty, be it social events, educational workshops and lectures, or advocacy.

鈥淐ommunication is key so we know what our members want from us,鈥 says Fiona. 鈥淲e have found email to be fairly unreliable, so will be connecting with peer groups in person to hear how we can best serve them.

鈥淚t is important to us because we feel that we need to be a portal of information for the College, both in terms of passing on announcements or news updates and in advising the policy-makers there what will work and what won鈥檛 for the benefit of all GPs.鈥

The 10-strong management team is currently planning the annual symposium, which will be held in Papamoa from 24-26 September.

鈥淭he symposium is great way to bring members together to learn and to network, and I know people look forward to it.鈥 says Fiona.

Future projects include the potential to provide funding support to members who wish to carry out research pertinent to the area and general practice.

鈥淭his is very exciting; to be able to carry out research that will directly benefit those who feature in it,鈥 says Fiona. 鈥淲e know there are members out there who have ideas for a research project, we have the funding capability, so it鈥檚 just a matter of putting them together, really.鈥

She welcomes input from any Faculty member and encourages people to get in touch so they can be kept up-to-date with news and future events.