Report on Tomorrow’s Doctors: a symposium of medical teachers
The ways students adapt to the demands of medical training may shape career- long habits and lifestyles. Some students become ill or unable to continue; on qualifying many doctors say they intend to take up jobs outside our under-resourced health service. Ought medical schools to be preparing students better for the frontline and the often ignored emotional impact of doctors’ working lives? This symposium of medical teachers assembled to share the challenges of developing a ‘resilience- curriculum’ to protect the future of safe and sustainable (and satisfying) professional practice.
Professional resilience used to be seen primarily as a characteristic of people who are relatively stress-proof and so less susceptible to burnout. It was formerly assumed too that these qualities were predetermined. More recently, it has been recognised that people can learn to be more resilient, that positive adaptation to professional challenges is possible, and that certain skills and attitudes enable doctors to flourish in their work.