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How I overcame anxiety as a doctor

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A personal story by Dr Karen Wallace

This year the world has been facing up to an unprecedented crisis due to a virus that is costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and applying extreme pressure on health care systems. A lot has been said about health care professionals, who are fighting this new and relatively unknown disease. Many call our frontline healthcare workers “heroes”. I would argue that they have always been heroes, and the agility and reaction of the...

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Three tips to reduce doctors stress using cognitive reframing

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The mind is a wonderful and a terrible thing. It can store away an astounding number of facts, conjure up images from decades ago and completely change our perception of the world around us. Unfortunately, that can sometimes also be damaging.

The power of the mind is nothing new in healthcare. The chances are you find yourself using carefully worded sentences with a patient, for example saying “discomfort” not “pain”. You’re subtly tweaking your patient’s...

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Can developing a growth mindset help to tackle imposter syndrome?

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I’ve never truly slotted into the role of ‘doctor’ as seamlessly as I’d have liked. Now in my fourth year as a junior doctor, the feeling that I don’t quite measure up still comes back to bite me every so often.

Commonly referred to as ‘imposter syndrome’, this feeling is not only jarring, but it forces me into black or white thinking. I become either worthy or unworthy, with no room for ambiguity. The problem is compounded by society’s...

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Worried about a second wave?  How to cope during the next phase of COVID-19. 

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What do you think about the possibility of a second wave? I personally think a second wave of COVID-19 is inevitable.  I think a lot of people feel the same – especially when you look at the science and modelling based on previous viral pandemics. I don't think it's so much a matter of if there'll be a second wave, as when it will be and what it will look like.  And this...

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You can't pour from an empty cup - the importance of permission

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I return to Permission again and again, it is so crucial for me personally (I have had anxiety and burnout) and for all of us Medics as a community. 

It can feel tough to practice self-care when there is so much need out there. You can feel pulled in all directions, guilty even, if you are not helping others before yourself, especially during this pandemic. Often doctors have different roles they are juggling, with patients, business needs, as parents. It can be...

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Top five books for doctors on World Book Day.



Here are the top five books I would like to recommend to doctors this World Book Day - some are written by doctors, some are written for doctors and some of them are just great books that could be helpful for you or your patients.

1. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande- a beautifully written book about the deeper and more meaningful side of things we experience as doctors.

2. Also Human by Caroline Elton - a book about her experiences as a psychologist working with doctors who are...

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Alcoholism among doctors – when does drinking become harmful or addictive?

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This is the second blog in our new series: "Let's Talk About...", and today we're continuing the theme of talking about alcoholism in doctors. It’s January, often a time when people are thinking about how much they're drinking and their other habits, and whether they're healthy or not. I wanted to share some information about how you can tell the difference between harmful use of a substance and dependence on that substance. When do you cross over that line? When does having just a...

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Lets talk about doctors stress and alcohol

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With it being Dry January many of us are thinking about cutting back on alcohol after the excesses of the festive season.

But for some this isn’t so easy, especially burnt out doctors who are more likely to rely on alcohol and drugs.

A recent study of 417 UK doctors by Dr Kamau, published in May 2019 in the BMJ Open, found that one in twenty doctors met the criteria for alcohol dependence and just over half binge drank on more than one occasion per week. This was the first study which...

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We are all made of stories

 

Dr Nicky Kiernan

Last Saturday I took part in the Joyful Doctor Live 2019 Event in London. It was my first time speaking at this event and indeed the first time I had spoken to a group of doctors about my own experience of becoming and being a doctor. This was certainly not the first time that I had discussed this; I, like many medics, have found great solace and support over the years, in sharing the trials and tribulations of the job with trusted confidantes both within and outside the profession....

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One car accident and two text messages 

Caroline Walker, Founder of The Joyful Doctor

I received two messages this morning.

The first was from one of my lovely 1-to-1 clients thanking me for the work of The Joyful Doctor (a team effort truly but it’s always so lovely to get positive feedback).  

The second message was from a friend forwarding on an article - about a GP with two young kids who sadly jumped to his death off a bridge in 2018.

I feel like the universe is letting me know I’m on the right path today. Helping doctors.

This is part of the...

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