For ASHM’s International Division, highly skilled Clinical Mentors are essential to the success of our training and mentoring programs across Asia and the Pacific.

For over 10 years, this pool of expert clinicians has trained, guided and mentored healthcare providers in HIV, sexual health and viral hepatitis medicine throughout the region. Among the countries to have benefited from these trainings are Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Timor-Leste.

The Clinical Mentors Meeting, held in December 2019, brought together both seasoned mentors and those new to the mentor pool to share lessons learnt and strengthen mentoring and training facilitation skills. Over two days the clinical mentors were upskilled in adult learning techniques and had the opportunity to discuss the strengths and problem solve the challenges of clinical mentoring.  

Dr Marcel Kalau has been working with ASHM in the Master Mentor program since 2017. His work has involved training and mentoring healthcare workers in PNG as part of a long-term capacity development project. 

“I’m really enjoying mentoring the health workers in PNG. I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me to impart my knowledge and experience and improve their capacity to in turn mentor, teach and improve other people” said Dr Kalau.

For Dr Kalau, the Mentor Meeting was a rare opportunity to meet with other mentors and improve his mentoring skills.

“It’s been a really beneficial couple of days. Firstly, getting to meet some of the other consultants from around Australia and sharing our different experiences and work that we’ve done. Additionally, the sessions on improving facilitation and adult teaching has been great as well” said Dr Kalau.

The Australian mentors were joined by Dr John Milan (PNG Sexual Health Society) from Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Dr Dashika Balak (Oceania Society for HIV and Sexual Health Medicine) from Fiji, who shared their experiences of working with ASHM mentors and being clinical mentors within PNG and the Pacific Islands

Following the Mentor Meeting, several recommendations will be taken up by ASHM to ensure a more cohesive group going forward, and that mentors are more regularly able to learn from each other's experiences.

If you’re interested in becoming part of ASHM’s international consultancy pool, contact international@ashm.org.au