Meet our mentors: Chris Whittle

Chris Whittle is an NHS doctor in Anaesthetics, Founder of Q Doctor and Chief Medical Officer at eConsult. As a cohort 1 clinical entrepreneur who had progressed successfully through the programme, Chris became a mentor to support the next generation of innovators.

Name: Chris Whittle

Occupation: Doctor, Founder of Q Doctor and Chief Medical Officer at eConsult

“I started my professional life as a doctor in anaesthetics, before joining the NHS CEP and founding Q doctor – a startup providing video consultation and digital locum services to the NHS.  In 2021 Q doctor was acquired by eConsult, the leading digital triage provider across the NHS, where I am now Chief Medical Officer. 

I put most of my waking moments towards improving health and social care for people around the country and the world, with optimism on what the future should and will look like.”

Why did you choose to become a mentor on the NHS CEP, are you enjoying the experience and how have you supported your mentee/s so far? 

“I chose to become a mentor as I have learned a lot of hard lessons being an entrepreneur and have a number of tips that could help those who are currently in the position that I was in a few years ago.  

I find mentoring extremely fulfilling as an activity, both in passing on advice and in learning new things about the latest activities of others in the space. It is hugely rewarding and can create enormous impact.

I support my mentees with regular check-in meetings to establish progress, strategise about next moves, and touch base on goals, and themes in the market more generally.”

What do you think makes a good mentor and can you see the impact that mentoring is having on your mentee?   

“A mentor should have lived experience but also be very willing to listen and understand. Each mentee brings something unique, and the synergy of backgrounds and thoughts, is what is most important.

Mentoring conversations should be helpful for both the mentor and the mentee in crystallising their own understandings.  It is also hugely exciting to meet like-minded people who love this stuff as much as I do!

I see a lot of focus come from the sessions I am having with my mentees; going from overwhelmed breadth to focused measurable progress.”

What is the best piece of advice you have been given in your professional career? 

“Sam Altman (OpenAI, Y combinator) said that the difficult thing about being on an exponential curve is that ahead of you they look vertical and behind you they look flat.  This translates in so many ways to startup struggles – and gives you perspective on stepping back.”

Chris Whittle is one of over 300 professionals that volunteer there support to the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and support our next generation of innovators. If you are interested in supporting the programme visit our mentor pages