How I became a Joyful Doctor...


I have first hand experience of how the pressures of being a doctor can impact on your life through burnout, bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction.

I got tired of seeing my colleagues succumbing to the constant pressures of medicine too - leading many to become disillusioned, depressed and in some cases even suicidal.... 





Hi, I'm Caroline Walker

I am a psychiatrist, therapist, trainer, and coach.  

For over ten years I have helped overworked and underappreciated doctors who struggle with their mental health or career choices to stop ‘just existing’ and instead embrace life and take steps towards a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life and career.

The organisations I have worked with have helped their doctors to embrace their inherent strengths, take better care of themselves and each other, and to feel more energised and optimistic about their work and their future careers.

I founded The Joyful Doctor to support more doctors to get the help they need, without fear of judgement or negative consequences.

Our specially selected coaches, trainers and support staff all have one shared mission - to help doctors live happier and more fulfilling lives!



 At the heart of everything we do...

 Whether it's working with doctors who are struggling with their mental health, supporting them to explore their career options, or helping organisations to better support their medical staff, we focus on compassion, courage and most of all... joy! 



 I have wanted to be a doctor since I was 6 years old but as it turned out, when I finally qualified aged 24, it wasn't quite what I thought it would be... 

I didn't know what I was doing - and I was scared! 

I struggled... with the workload, the pressures, the emotional burden, but most of all I struggled with what was going on inside my own head.


 To others everything looked fine.  But on the inside I thought I was rubbish, not good enough, an imposter... bound to get ‘found out’ at any moment and struck off for being a 'bad doctor’.  Things got so bad that I burnt out and got depressed very quickly - I also drank far too much to try and cope.

My twenties were a blur of depressive episodes, trying to fit in and to 'do life' the way I thought I should. My thirties didn’t start much better - with episodes of high mood, an unexpected pregnancy and a sad divorce...  But through it all, I clung in there... always trying to improve myself.


Until one day I realised... I'm okay just the way I am!

+ I began to relax, to drop the responsibilities that weren't mine (like making others happy) and started taking responsibility for myself.

+ I started taking healthy risks instead of unhealthy ones... and life began to bring me happiness I never thought was possible.

+ I pursued my dreams to train in psychotherapy (as a doctor) and to specialise in Doctors' Wellbeing.

+ I kept on dreaming, whilst putting one foot in front of the other, until one day my dreams materialised into The Joyful Doctor!

If you'd like to know more about how we can help you...




  • “...inspired by your website and your story of great courage”


  • “Things are a lot clearer... I’m feeling great!”


  • “Your calming supportive influence provided an invaluable space in which to recognise my own potential”


  • “Priceless… an inspirational journey”


  • “...tailored to my needs and at my pace”

    Senior Nurse