Mentoring Programs - MD : Current Students : The University of Western Australia

Current Students

Mentoring Programs - MD

Further Information


PDM Academic Services Officer
Deborah Chapman

P: (+61 8) 6457 1886
F: (+61 8) 6457 1665

Postal Address:

Medical School, MBDP: M516
UWA Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009 WA

PDM Co-ordinator
Assoc Prof Paul McGurgan

In order to help you in your transition from being an undergraduate student to becoming a doctor, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences has two programs for the mentoring of medical students enrolled in the new MD course.

The following information refers to the mentoring programs for new MD students. Ongoing students enrolled in MBBS can view information on their mentoring program here.

Doctors have a unique role in caring for patients and communities. This brings with it specific responsibilities and challenges. All universities and medical education bodies around the world view Professional Development and Mentorship (PDM) as an essential component of under and postgraduate medical training.

PDM is a core component of the UWA Medicine curriculum. The course content has been specifically designed to:

  1. Provide you with knowledge of the ethical principles, legal and governance issues related to medicine.
  2. Develop your skills in reflection and self-care.
  3. Ensure that you demonstrate the professional behaviours appropriate to your future role as a doctor of medicine.

Some of the content is related to theoretical knowledge, but most is gained through the experience of working in the clinical environment with patients and other health professionals, using active reflection on these experiences and how you are transitioning from being a medical student to becoming a qualified doctor. Although PDM themes can arise every day, they are often not explicitly identified. However, just as it is essential that you graduate knowing how to diagnose or treat an illness, you need to graduate with the professional skills which are required as an intern and beyond. The PDM parts of your medicine course aim to ensure that you are aware of and have developed these skills. 

Clinician-Student Mentor Program
This is a longitudinal mentoring program whereby all medical students have a clinical mentor involved in the student’s professional development for the duration of the course.
Student MeDMentor Program
Students will be mentored by a more senior student, and may in turn mentor more junior students.

Benefits of mentoring

Students who are mentored should:

  • Transition better to the MD Course.
  • Receive encouragement and support in  studies and work.
  • Reflect on their learning, learning styles and work life balance.
  • Discuss their career aspirations and options and develop career networks.
  • Develop new skills,  knowledge and confidence.
  • Reflect on their personal and professional behaviours and attitudes.

For those who provide mentoring, it may be a way to:

  • Enhance skills in coaching and counselling.
  • Gain satisfaction from helping a student develop professional behaviours and attitudes.
  • Contribute to their own professional development.
  • Increase awareness of different areas of medicine and medical education.

The Mentor's role involves:

  • Acting as a counsellor and coach to help the student assess where they are and where they want to be; discuss relevant medical issues for example ethics.
  • Acting as a role model for the student.
  • Assisting their mentee in progressing through the MD course.