Doctors in Difficulty

Occasionally learners might find themselves in difficulty, due to ill health or other reasons. We are all here to help and depending on the type of difficulties you find yourself in, you may want to consider discussing these issues with your Educational Supervisor, one or all of the Programme Directors and/or your Clinical Supervisor. Please refer to the Gold Guide for guidance with regard to particular scenarios.

As a trainer, having a trainee needing additional support can be very stressful.  It is always adviseable to discuss any concerns you have with a programme director – our contact details are on the contacts page.  We will usually respond to urgent emails at times of the week other than a Tuesday.

Sources of support and help

The Oxford Deanery Professional Support Unit (PSU) has been established to provide comprehensive careers and performance support for all doctors and dentists in primary and secondary care.   Through this service you can access coaching to help you deal with personal and professional difficulties.  The careers service provides local specialty information and career management skills workshops for the Oxford Foundation School. It also provides personal career guidance for those with a career dilemma, including those with health or disability problems.

There are a variety of resources available for doctors in need of support, it might be worth considering one of these services as well. The British Medical Association provide the following:

BMA Wellbeing Support Services / Counselling | Peer Support

The phone number for these services (0330 123 1245) and it is open 24/7 and on that number any doctor or medical student can receive counselling and peer support.

The email address is

Wellbeing support services A5 leaflet 1 WEB

Wellbeing support services A5 leaflet 2 WEB

Additional sources of support

  • Dovedale Counselling– provides support to Oxford and Berks GPs their famililes
  • For those with health problems it is important to access advice from your own GP and from an occupational health deparement.  Those working within the Royal Berkshire trus can access this through Occupational health department – Royal Berkshire Hospital.
  • Those in GP posts can access occupational health input through their programme directors.
  • There is also the new GP health service which can provide support for GPs and GP trainees.
  • For information on career options please see the really helpful GMC RCGP support package
  • If you are concerned that you may be dyslexic it might be useful to use the Dyslexia Screening Tool and discuss the results with a PD

Don’t forget that your Educational Supervisor and Programme Directors are an important source of help and can signpost you to other resources or refer you on to the professional development unit and/or occupational health departments.