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Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence

Trainee information

Thriving in medicine


Training in Medicine, in any specialty, can be extremely positive and rewarding. Medicine is stimulating and challenging.  We can positively impact on our patients lives and those of their families. We are entrusted with people’s bodies and health and wellbeing: this can be a big responsibility, but also helps to serve our sense of personal value.

Yet often experiences in medicine, although rewarding, can prove to be intellectually and emotionally demanding and stressful.

Completing training often involves intense work on long shifts. Responsibilities and professional relationships can shift and change; rotations are frequent and may mean moving or being away from home. We need to supply empathy for our patients while being exposed to difficult or traumatic situations. All of this means our personal reserves of resilience can become tested.  At times it can feel as if we have little or no control over our working or personal life. 

There will be many positive times in a life in medicine, but it is likely that everyone at some point will be challenged and stressed by their experiences. There is now much evidence that working to improve our personal resilience can benefit us, as well as our workplace. We can all do better for our patients when we are taking care of ourselves.

‘It's easy to be a good doctor when everything is going well. It's much more challenging to be a good doctor when nothing is going well’.



These pages are intended to help support your personal reserves for the challenge of working in medicine. It is important to realise they are not a replacement for dealing with poor or difficult working and training conditions. If you have concerns about this then there is further information elsewhere on  the deanery site.

Your Educational or Clinical supervisor can also offer advice, or refer you to someone who can help. For further support and advice, click here.


This page was last updated on: 02.05.2024 at 11.07