Aims To establish resilience support for paediatric trainees. Introduction Resilience, the capacity to recover, has never been more important in medicine. These have been exceptionally threatening times for trainees with contract changes resulting in unprecedented strikes. Doctors generally report problems of professional isolation, fragmentation of care for patients, and poor communication1. The opportunity to offer training was explored. Methods Two surveys were completed with outgoing paediatric trainees (and consultants) and the new intake. They asked what resilience meant to the doctors, what their personal strategies at work and home were and what they would like from resilience training.
Results Twenty (28%) then 15 (75%) responded. Resilience was seen as a range of skills from the ability to battle stress, determination, to suffering in silence. Coping strategies included exercise, talking to family and praying. Only one person referenced drinking alcohol. Strategies fell into 5 groups
Talking to family/friends
All responders thought resilience training would be useful and a six week programme was set up following a successful pilot. The topics were given states of mind as titles including frustration, sadness, fatigue, happiness and optimism. Exercises have included using the arts, food, yoga and simply the opportunity to talk. From this and in support of all junior doctors, a multidisciplinary blog (‘recalibrat8’ on Tumblr and ‘Recalibrate’ on Facebook) was commissioned by the Trust Guardian of Safety which draws from national sources. Feedback has been extremely positive.
Conclusion The GMC recognizes that all NHS organisations including itself, could ‘do more to recognise the intense pressures on the profession and make it more acceptable for people to ask for help when they are struggling.’2 Resilience is built on personal qualities and early influences but can be taught. Equally important is recognition that doctors of all levels of training might struggle and they need a space to talk about fears, learn new skills and share their personal experience whilst developing an understanding of their mental health and physical limitations. In this way compassion for themselves and others can be allowed to grow and in so doing make for better doctors.
Rimmer, A Overstretched doctors must be encouraged to seek help, GMC says. BMJ Careers. Dec 2016.
GMC Medical Professional http://www.gmc-uk.org/MPM_report.pdf_68646225.pdf
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