Graduate optometrists workshop development needs with mentors

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Graduate optometrists in their first year of the Specsavers Graduate Program learned more about their preferred individual work and communication styles through a Personal Profile Analysis while strengthening their relationships with their mentors during the recent Mentor Mentee Workshop.

The one-day workshop, which was held in several regions from 9 to 18 April 2018, brought together first-year graduate optometrists and their mentors (typically, their store partners) to reflect on their experiences to date and identify key areas of strength as well as for further development.

Adam Buxton, Specsavers Australia & New Zealand Head of Graduate Recruitment and Development, explained, “The Mentor Mentee Workshop is the first event where the graduates come together after induction. It provides a great opportunity for them to network with their peers and discuss their individual experiences with others who are on the same journey.

“Throughout the two-year Specsavers Graduate Program, we provide multiple touchpoints to ensure each graduate is on track to achieving their potential as a confident, competent healthcare professional. Importantly, these touchpoints are also designed to ensure both mentor and mentee are fully supported along the way.”

During the workshop, each mentor-mentee group undertook a Personal Profile Analysis to increase their understanding of their preferred styles of communication and other useful aspects of their behaviour. The groups discussed the results of the analysis, and how these findings could be applied in the workplace to allow them to better relate to each other, as well as to other colleagues.

The mentor-mentee groups also conducted the first of four Quarterly Development Meetings (QDMs). Utilising a framework provided by the Specsavers Professional Development Team, the graduates worked with their mentors to determine where their strengths lay as well as areas where they required further development to create structured plans for the upcoming quarter.

“Graduate optometrists progress in different areas at different rates,” Adam stated. “The QDMs are one of the many tools we provide in the Specsavers Graduate Program to ensure each graduate optometrist has a structured development plan customised to their individual needs and interests.”

Following the Mentor Mentee Workshop, a CPD evening was held where graduate optometrists presented cases for discussion and shared learning. Many of the workshops also featured a local ophthalmologist, who presented on the topic of glaucoma, with reference to diagnosis, referral and co-management pathways.

“It is important we understand how optometrists and ophthalmologists can work together to reduce the statistics on undiagnosed glaucoma and improve eye care outcomes for patients across Australia and New Zealand,” Adam commented.

For a firsthand perspective of the Mentor Mentee Workshop, read the latest Specsavers Graduate Program Blog post.

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