I’ve been a doctor for over 20 years. I don’t think I’ve ever known us to work under such difficult conditions as we are doing right now. In the NHS, we’re being squeezed from either side by reduced resources and increasing demand. When I look to my colleagues around the world, they also seem to be experiencing increased external pressures. Patient demand, increasing medical complexity, scepticism for professionals and the rise of Dr Google all play their part. In addition to this, we face demands to be effective communicators, keep our medical knowledge up to date, deal with the complexities of relationships with our pressured colleagues, and survive in an ever more litigious and complaint prone society. And this is without even considering the demands of family and other commitments outside of work. It’s really not that surprising that we rate so highly for stress, mental illness, suicide and divorce, to name but some.

While I face all of these pressures myself, an understanding of the principles behind life has completely changed my experience of them. Life really is an Inside-Out job, even though it appears to be Outside-In. However much it looks like all the outside demands I’ve mentioned might be causing us to feel stressed, anxious, and burnt out, it’s actually our thinking “inside” that is causing us to suffer. Understanding this has enabled me to find calm in the storms of life, and clarity and wisdom around when I need to make external changes.

I still work as a clinician and medical educator, though I now spend a significant time coaching and mentoring. I have a heart for doctors who are finding life a struggle – I’ve been one! I want you not only to survive (which in itself may seem a lofty goal!) but to THRIVE in your work and your wider life. Happy doctors make for happy patients too.

I also have a passion for nurturing leaders. We’ve never needed strong leadership in the medical profession more than we do right now. Your profession, and the wider world, need you to find your own innate peace and clarity – it’s from this place that fresh new thinking can arise. And that is what will enable doctors and patients to flourish in this modern, complex age.
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“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

Albert Einstein

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J. R. R. Tolkien

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Dr Seuss

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