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How to Survive in Medicine: Personally and Professionally

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9271-2
136 pages
April 2010, BMJ Books
How to Survive in Medicine: Personally and Professionally (1405192712) cover image


Medicine is a career that most people consider to be enviable. Whatever one's criteria for a good job, being a doctor ticks a lot of boxes: doctors are needed, respected, well remunerated and can make a difference between life and death Increasingly, doctors are experiencing stress, depression and anxiety, fuelled by the increasing demands of the health services, and the lack of resources to support them.

Focussing on the causes, symptoms and management of psychological problems experienced by doctors at all stages in their careers, this book considers the difficulties and stressors of medicine as a career, linking to studies that look at what interventions are successful in the workplace and offering various solutions.


  • A study based over 20 years of doctors' stress factors
  • Case histories to bring the subject to life
  • Guidance on choosing a specialty, dealing with difficult people, stress and demands 37

A valuable resource both for trainers and doctors alike.

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Table of Contents


Part 1: The job and you.

1 It's just a difficult job.

2 Why me?

Part 2: Waving, not drowning.

3 You and your partner: for life?

4 Choosing a specialty.

5 Dealing with stress.

6 Down in the dumps.

7 Difficult people?

8 Feeling angry.

9 A little too much.

10 Demands, demands, demands!

11 Can you afford emotions?

12 To err is human.

13 Managing the stress and problems of others.


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Author Information

Jenny Firth-Cozens is an occupational and clinical psychologist and Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology who has worked at all levels of the health service and within academia. She has published numerous reports and several books, both academic and popular, including Stress in Health Professionals: Psychological and organizational causes and interventions (Wiley) and Nervous Breakdown: What is it? What causes it? Who will help? (Piatkus) which was a book club choice for many years. In addition she has contributed articles to most leading newspapers and magazines and for 10 years was agony aunt for Good Housekeeping and The Yorkshire Post.

Jamie Harrison, MA FRCGP, Deputy Director of Postgraduate GP Education, The Northern Deanery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK has contributed the case scenarios.

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"I would recommend this book to the readership of the Journal, because it deals with important issues that face those in our profession in a reasonably comprehensive way." (Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 1 July 2011)

"This book is a splendid receipe for survival, crammed with highly-detailed solutions in a practical, light-hearted presentation." (RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health Journal, 1 July 2011)

"This self-help book small in size, certainly considering that it should be manageable for a busy doctor. The presentation is perceived to some extent influenced school book, with sandwiches lists of complaints or actions. . . but it points to both organizational and individual factors that are important to be aware of and that in many cases can be dealt with to get a better workday." (Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, 18 November 2010)

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