Resilience is not, as such, a “fixed attribute”, but instead represents processes which reside in individuals and their environments.
From the wider literature on personal resilience, professional resilience appears to be more than not ‘burning out’; it involves positive adaptation and developing personal resources.
Everything has to be done to make the health service a safer place for doctors to work, not least to protect patients. The NHS constitution promises its staff ‘healthy and safe working conditions.’
The discussion of resilience has raised strong emotions, e.g.
“There have been suggestions that we should build in greater training in resilience for doctors, to prevent ill health and suicide. But rather than blaming a lack of professional robustness, and accepting damaging working conditions, it is surely better to tackle the root cause.”
Medical doctors are at a higher risk of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide, when compared with the wider population
Resilience has become a rather ‘hackneyed’ phrase of late, because it suggests that we need to increase our ability to cope with the pressures that are inflicted upon us rather than trying to influence the pressures.