Caring for psychiatrists

Recently, there’s been an increased focus on doctors’ emotional health and wellbeing, something that has been welcomed by the Psychiatrists’ Support Service here at the College.

The wellbeing of doctors isn’t a novel idea. In the late 1800s the well-known philosopher, Nietzsche wrote; ‘Physician help thyself; thus you help your patients too’.

Fast forward over a century and this was echoed last month when the GMC published their report ‘Caring for doctors Caring for patients’.

This report reinforces the knowledge that organisations who prioritise the welfare of doctors, consequently provide higher quality patient care and are better able to retain the workforce. The report refers to the ‘ABC’ of doctors’ core needs: autonomy, belonging and competence.

Much has been done in recent years regarding doctor’s health, but there is more we can do to support ourselves and our colleagues. In the GMC report 17% of doctors were reported as having considered leaving the NHS and 39% reported being unwell due to work stress in the preceding 12 months.

During these times of austerity and increasing pressure, rates of burnout are high. We must keep in mind the importance of speaking out and seeking help in times of difficulty.

Although the festive season can be a time for celebration, it may also be a difficult time for many others, both for service users and for those of us who will work through this period, often under increased pressure.

The Psychiatrists' Support Service provides free, confidential peer support by telephone to psychiatrists of all grade who may be experiencing work-related difficulties. Contact details can be found on the PSS webpage.

We have been running for over 10 years and would like to ask College members for some feedback. We would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete our brief survey below.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry