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Conferences > AMEE 2021 > Programme > Symposia

Under Pressure: Heard, valued and supported?

Symposium 13 - Under Pressure: Heard, valued and supported?

Date: Monday 30th August
Time: 0900 - 1030 (UK time)
Stream: Room 2


  • Dr Kim Walker,  University of Aberdeen, UK
  • Lisi Gordon,  University of Dundee, UK
  • Karen Mattick, Exeter University, UK
  • Daniele Carrieri,  Exeter University, UK
  • Anita Laidlaw,  University of St. Andrews, UK

Summary: As the world grappled with COVID-19 the additional stresses placed on healthcare workers and healthcare organisations shone a spotlight on wellbeing and resilience. Much has been made publicly in the media and social media of the impact these experiences have had on healthcare workers’ mental health. Whilst not a new concept, the lack of an evidence base in the academic literature for interventions that support the wellbeing and resilience of doctors and other healthcare workers has become apparent. This was brought into sharp focus as healthcare professionals and their organisations struggled to put appropriate mechanisms in place for support in a timely manner during the pandemic. Furthermore, moving beyond COVID-19, issues of health care worker wellbeing and resilience prevail as a key organisational and institutional concern in global healthcare. Risk of healthcare worker stress and burnout and the consequent impact on patient care is high across the world without adequate and evidenced based mechanisms of support.

Who should participate: This symposium will attract international participants across the medical education career continuum who place wellbeing and resilience of health care workers at the heart of their work. Policy makers who are responsible for wellbeing of staff in organisations. Clinicians who are have roles as trainers and clinical leaders. Researchers who have an interest in new methodologies and large scale non quantitative studies.

What will they gain from participating: In this symposium, findings from two large scale UK-based projects, Care Under Pressure and the Scottish Doctors Wellbeing study will be presented, considered and discussed. These studies focused on doctors’, wellbeing and resilience across the career continuum and evidence for supportive interventions were explored using realist review and qualitative research methodologies, respectively. The symposium will use this work as a basis to consider and discuss key wellbeing and resilience issues for doctors as clinicians, trainees, trainers and clinical leaders including: uncertainty; safety; role; educational context; organisational support; connectedness; and workplace culture. Furthermore, the symposium will consider and discuss examples of how the medical workforce can be supported based on this evidence and how this can and should be disseminated widely to inform future policy and ultimately improve healthcare.

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