Survive and Thrive - a resilience framework for GP trainees
Evidence suggests that there is a significant need for the modern doctor to demonstrate and develop their ‘resilience’. There is recognition that medicine has become more complex with increasing numbers of treatment options available and an aging population with more pathology. The subsequent increase in demand has to be dealt with in an environment of funding restriction and challenges such as the European Working Time Directive, a push for 7- day services and decreased recruitment of young people to become doctors. Changing working patterns, decreased autonomy and increasing regulation and litigation all increase the stress experienced by doctors. Research shows:
- High levels of stress and burnout (40% of GPs) in a recent European study (Soler et al, 2008)
- Objective cortisol levels conflict with subjective self-report (Heather et al, 2010)
- Elevated prevalence of alcohol problems, suicide, depression and marital problems in GP populations (e.g. Boyd & Knight, 2008)
- Pre-emptive rather than reactive interventions prevent burnout (Meldrum, 2010)
It is imperative that the GP School is able to provide the correct opportunities and training environment for GP trainees to become competent independent practitioners. There is a need to fulfil the standards set out by the GMC as well as covering the RCGP requirements. Currently the GMC are working jointly with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (Academy) to help medical royal colleges and faculties embed generic professional capabilities into all postgraduate medical curricula in 2017. The GPC framework is a matrix of educational outcomes that describe essential and critical capabilities underpinning core professional practice in the United Kingdom. The framework has nine domains. All domains are interdependent and all are important. Domain 1 covering professional values and behaviours, specifically names development of emotional resilience as a required capability.
The School recognises that GP trainee have already developed considerable ‘resilience’ to have achieved their level of attainment. While we await any changes to the RCGP Curriculum there is an opportunity for the GP School to enhance the opportunities for GP trainees to consolidate this and to build on their personal resilience.