“As doctors we are used to supporting patients' health and well being, but we often neglect our own.” Doctors Support Network
In all walks of life people experience times when things are not going according to plan, or find that their quality of life is suffering at the expense of work. Medicine is no different.
Medicine is a highly pressurised and demanding profession, and inevitably sometimes things can feel too much.
If you’re experiencing difficulties there are a number of places where you can access help:
- Find out what’s out there to support you: some Deaneries have a designated person who can offer support around issues affecting performance. Some also provide a confidential counselling service.
- Many doctors will get a sympathetic ear from their educational supervisor or clinical tutor.
- The Trainee Support Team based at the Deanery can also help.
- Click here to for some hints and tips written by a Doctor in Exeter. (Reproduced with kind permission of Peninsula Deanery)
Support networks for Doctors:
BMA Health and Wellbeing
Tel: 0845 920 0169
For BMA members and their families- available 24 hours
Doctors Support Network (mental health)
Tel: 0844 395 3010
A self-help group for doctors with concerns regarding mental health.
Royal Medical Benevolent Fund
Tel: 0208 540 9194
For doctors and their dependants in need.
Sick Doctors Trust
Tel: 0370 444 5163
For doctors experiencing alcohol and/ or drug addiction
Tel: 0208 545 8443
Handling pressure, maintaining a healthy work/life balance and alternative sources of help and careers.
Psychiatry Support Service for Foundation Doctors
The Psychiatrist Support Service (PSS) is a telephone advice service offered to members and associates of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (associate membership is free and available to medical students and foundation doctors).
On their website there is information for doctors experiencing a variety of workplace difficulties such as bullying and harassment, managing complaints and dealing with exams.
The PSS is not a counselling service, or a long term support service, and contact is limited to telephone calls only.
They can be contacted by telephone (020 7245 0412) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Maintaining a balance between work and non-work commitments can be challenging. Everybody is different when it comes to how they need to balance their life.
It’s worth taking time to identify your present work/life blend and think about what your ideal combination would be. The Windmills website offer further information and practical activities to help you with this.
You might also consider:
- Training flexibly, Less than full time training.
- Changing specialty or direction.
- Moving out of medicine altogether.
Do speak to your Educational Supervisor, trusted colleague or Careers Advisor before making any big decions.
- BMJ Careers has useful articles especially relating to health.
- The National Medical Careers ‘Careers Options’ section has further information.