Doctors are some of the most resilient members of society; they have to be, so as to be able to survive not just a long and gruelling training, but also constant exposure to disease, distress and disability. They must be able to bounce back after adversity, and get on with their job. All the evidence is that healthcare professionals, particularly doctors, do tend to ‘tough it out’. Doctors
tend to be stoical, denying their vulnerability, slow to ask for help, and working on long after they should have taken sick leave. However, they are not invincible and they can, and do, suffer from the same stresses as the patients they treat.
This article will explore the causes of mental ill-health among GPs, the concept of resilience and initiatives that can improve a GP’s ability to survive in turbulent times.