Buddies

Are you an FY2 or above and wanting to be a buddy?

Would you like to be a buddy to a new FY1 and provide some informal support to them as they start out on their medical career?

Please read over some of the below information about what being a buddy involves and if you're still keen you can sign up on the link at the bottom of the page.

Any questions not answered here or on our FAQs please don't hesitate to contact us.

What are we looking for in a buddy?

Here's some direct quotes from feedback from previous FY1s to give you an idea of what they're looking for in a buddy.

What makes a good buddy?

“Approachable, empathetic. Friendly. Someone who often can only listen really but that is what makes the difference. Also I'd say for buddies don't feel disheartened if your f1 doesn't make much contact”

“Sometimes with the business of work it literally is ‘no news is good news’”  

“Good listener, someone that makes time to stay in touch”

“Kind, friendly, understanding, has time to message”

“Listening and empathising more than giving advice”

“Open to being contacted, supportive, understands challenges of F1”

“Friendly, shares about their own life as much as expecting you to share, regularly messaging” 

What works well?

"Very helpful advice, friendly person and very understanding of my situation. Also supportive.  Having someone to fall back on when I needed help with re: portfolio and difficult seniors. Helpful and kind."

"Talking to someone in the specialty I want to do"

"Emails and just knowing they were there"

"Knowing you had someone there who'd been through what you had and could relate to you. Having a friendly and empathetic someone there meant a lot"

"Easy to contact, helpful with pastoral stuff as well as work/academic"

"Goal setting"

"Very supportive buddy, excellent advice for future career"

"Being able to message someone for another point of view on situations I was unsure about Being there when required and checking in when there hadn't been an contact for a while without being overbearing"

"Good to have someone to contact in first few weeks when everything was very overwhelming"

"Initial meeting was good. Nice to know that I had support if necessary"

"Regular contact via whatsapp"

"Think it's a great idea which made a real difference to my f1. Please continue it! Even if f1s didn't make much contact with buddies, I think just knowing you had a buddy accessible made a big difference."

What doesn't work so well?

"The only bad thing was that I was worried about messaging/pestering my buddy too much!"

"It became difficult to meet up as my buddy moved hospital"

"Told by mentor to contact them if needed. It might have been nice to just check in with them rather than waiting for time of need"

And some advice from previous buddies...

"Build a relationship early on if you can as this will make it easier to ask for support if/when you need it."

"Do it! Rewarding and important for junior colleagues to meet with seniors"

"Should try and chase F1 more if not replying"

"Be guided by what the FY1 wants from you"

"Be friendly and open to any questions"

"Set from the outset the best ways to communicate with each other and when."

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

So when you sign up we need to know a few things so as we can match you to the FY1/FY1s you can best support.

Things we'll ask you about:

  • Where you're based/which hospitals you could support FY1s at. We ask that these are locations where you could support FY1s at least until February 2021 to enable some stability, if this isn't the case remote support may be the best option for you.
  • Whether you're happy to offer face to face support, remote support or both
  • Specific topics/issues you might be able to support FY1s with
  • Which specialty if any you might be able to offer some additional advice on
  • What level doctor you are
  • How many FY1s you feel able to support

We also need your details - full name and email address so we can put you in touch with your buddy, and with a few other bits of information through the year.

We use all this information to match buddies to FY1s as best as possible. Please be aware that we may not always have a match for you as this entirely depends on where and what the needs are of the FY1s that sign up. Be aware that one may come later through the year though (we get FY1s signing up throughout the year) and be sure to let us know if your circumstances change.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once you complete your sign up you should receive an automatic email from us. If you don't get this please check your junk/spam folder and let us know if it's not there. Also please be sure to add info@fy1buddynetwork.co.uk to your safe senders list.

We'll be in touch in the next few days with our guide to being a good buddy. Which you can also access on our downloads page.

When you are matched you will get an email with the name and email address of your FY1 and you should get in touch with them and look to arrange to meet face to face or virtually as circumstances allow. We also recommend that you share your mobile number with your FY1 to allow you to better keep in touch.

If this all sounds good, then you can sign up below.

Any outstanding questions then have a look at our FAQs or contact us.

Still keen to be a buddy?