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Help for trainees at the front line

Our Medical Director for Training and Development, Dr Mike Jones is holding regular live Q&As on Twitter (@JRCPTB).
Mike will answer any questions you have on the impact of COVID-19 on training and progression.
In the meantime, we have put together a helpful guide below for those on the front-line. In a crisis it is very easy to forget the basics of what we do but they really do help so:
  1. Allow the patient to give their history and listen. You can often glean from that what is most likely to be wrong.
  2. Make your questions pertinent based around what the patient is telling you. Keep an open mind and suspend judgement
  3. Remember health conditions co-exist and don't focus solely on what may seem to be obvious
  4. Use the investigations available to you wisely; respond to the results obtained.
  5. Communicate with your patient; make them aware of what is happening
  6. Communicate with your seniors; shared decision making in times of uncertainty often helps.
  7. Don't continue to push yourself when tired; that is the time when mistakes occur.
  8. Be kind to yourself and others.
  9. Feeling stressed is likely to be common among us all: it does not mean you are failing; it is a very normal response.
  10. Look after your psychological health as much as your physical health; stay in contact with family and friends.
We all need help and support sometimes. You could speak to your supervisor, local training lead or training programme director. The occupational health department are there to offer support and guidance and so is your GP.
If you wish to contact someone outside of your work place then many national support services are available for you to access if you wish. Some examples can be found below.



Telephone Numbers

Brief Description of service

BMA Counselling

0330 123 1245 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

BMA Counselling is staffed by professional counsellors. They are all members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and are bound by strict codes of confidentiality and ethical practice.

Doctors Support Network

Peer support by qualified doctors offering a confidential anonymous service covering mental health, work problems, relationships and anything else.

NHS Practitioner Health Programme

0203 049 4505

This is a free confidential service for doctors and dentists with issues relating to a mental or physical health concern or addiction problem, in particular where these might affect their work.

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund

0208 540 9194

This is a leading charity for doctors, medical students and their families. Providing financial support, money advice and information when it is most needed due to age, ill health, disability or bereavement.

Staying Safe from Suicidal Thoughts offers compassion, kindness and easy ways to help keep people safer from thoughts of harm and suicide, seek support and discover hope of recovery through powerful videos from people with personal experience.

The Joyful Doctor

The Joyful Doctor was founded to transform the lives of doctors. To highlight the pressures, and mental health costs, of working in medicine, and to help struggling doctors to seek support. To help disillusioned doctors love their work again, and choose work that truly satisfies their purpose in life.


Twitter account for doctors to share ideas, experiences and messages of support.