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What's up Doc? Early lessons in well-being

We’re all familiar with Bugs Bunny’s catchphrase? But it’s being used for slightly more serious purposes here at the Montreal conference.

What’s Up Doc? Development of an Occupational Health and Personal Resilience Programme for Junior Doctors in a UK Teaching Hospital is the title of a presentation among the posters put up to highlight work that does not feature in the packed schedule of research sessions.

It is the work of Oxford consultant occupational health physician Evie Kemp, with help from Oxford emergency medicine consultant Lois Brand. It describes an occupational health and personal resilience programme that has three simple steps.

Medical students get a 15-minute introduction to occupational health and advice on where to seek support.

F1 (foundation 1) doctors get a one-hour course on occupational health and self-care — everything from watching out for needlestick injuries to eating well and handling shift work.

F2s doctors get a stress-busting workshop, and learn to identify stress triggers and to challenge negative thinking by using cognitive behaviour therapy tools. For Dr Kemp, these are the sort of simple steps that can go a long way towards prevention.

The UK contingent in Montreal might be small — just 11 attendees I am told — but they make up for that with huge enthusiasm for the topic.

Mike Foster is a writer for BMA News

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