Psychiatric mentors are an important part of the new, seamless training program in Singapore. There is a need to assess the qualities of a good psychiatric mentor vis-à-vis those of a good psychiatrist.
An anonymous survey was sent out to all psychiatry trainees and psychiatrists in Singapore to assess quantitatively the relative importance of 40 qualities for a good psychiatrist and a good mentor.
The response rate was 48.7% (74/152). Factor analysis showed four themes among the qualities assessed (professional, personal values, relationship, academic-executive). A good mentor is defined by professional, relationship, and personal-values qualities. Mentors have significantly higher scores than psychiatrists for two themes (relationship and academic-executive).
Being a good mentor, in Asia, means being a good psychiatrist first and foremost but also requires additional relationship and academic-executive skills. Mentors should be formally trained in these additional skills that were not part of the psychiatric curriculum.