Buddy System


What is the Buddy System?

The Buddy System is a peer-to-peer support network, developed by trainees in the region in order to broaden the support available to doctors in training.


Why is it necessary?

Whilst our job can be amazing, it can also be challenging. The support we receive at work can make a big difference to how we perceive the more difficult times. A more effective support structure has been identified nationally by O&G doctors in training as a potential method to improving wellbeing and reducing attrition.


What is a ‘Buddee’?

A Buddee is a trainee who has a particular issue that they feel could be improved by support from a peer.


What is a ‘Buddy’?

A Buddy relationship is usually informal and can be between two similarly experienced doctors. The Buddy acts as a confidential sounding board and offers directed support on issues presented by the Buddee.


Buddy-Buddee agreement

The agreement sets out the principles that both parties need to adhere to as part of the Buddy-Buddee relationship. It includes information about responsibilities, confidentiality and how to escalate any concerns. Please read it here.


How does it work?

Further down this page are the profiles for our Buddies. We are a diverse group encompassing different entry points and stages of training, with different experiences such as LTFT working, experience of the MTI scheme and various personal and professional interests. Have a look through the profiles and get in touch with someone – they will get back to you and arrange to meet however is most convenient (face-to-face, email, phone / videocall etc).


Student Support

The team are also very happy to hear from any students who are interested in O&G. If you are thinking about O&G as a career and have any questions about working in the specialty, please feel free to get in touch!


Meet the team

Sophie Whiteway


I have been living and working in the North East for nearly 6 years, and am currently working as an ST3 at the RVI (will become ST4 in Aug 21). Having recently gone through the step-up to registrar, I have a fresh experience of the new difficulties (and excitement!) of this transition. I have been on the Trainees’ Committee since ST1 and have been involved with the Buddy System since it started 2 years ago as I am interested in improving the experience of training, and providing peer support. I am also keen to provide support/advice to medical students/ foundation doctors who are considering a career in O&G. I will ensure to reply to any “budd-ees” quickly and if I can’t help, I’m sure I will be able to point you in the right direction ☺


Laura Parnell




Sherif Mito



Sheila Msami Kay




Information for Current Trainees

Access essential information on regulations, study leave, certification, assessment and the curriculum.

Information for trainers and educators

Development and guidance on becoming a trainer, standards for trainers, essential documentation for clinical and educational supervision including guidance for GP trainers,  Trust and out-of-hours supervisors, plus news about the latest courses and conferences.


Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.