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Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence

Health and wellbeing

As doctors, we tend not to make very good patients. It can be very hard to make time for ourselves working long intense shifts, studying for exams, applying for jobs and sustaining relationships. However, we need to satisfy our basic physiological needs to survive, before we can consider strategies to thrive. At times this will be challenging, and focussing on these needs may need to be a priority above the strategies mentioned elsewhere.  



Maintaining health in training

Your health can also affect your capacity to work effectively You should be registered with a local general medical practitioner. Your GP can be a source of support, and you should always go and see your doctor when ill rather than relying on 'corridor consultations' with colleagues. 

You may think that time off work for ill-health will increase pressure on colleagues or delay your training. We can only care effectively for others once we have cared for ourselves. Physical and mental health problems, alcohol and drug misuse are real issues for many docters.

The Performance Support Unit can provide more information. Each NHS board will also have information and support through Occupational Health Services.


If you are an NHS employee in one of the participating areas, whose ability to work is hindered by an ongoing health or welfare problem, or you feel that there are reasons that may cause you to be unable to carry out your job in the future, OHSxtra is here to help you.


Mental health support

Feeling overwhelmed or distressed?



Alcohol Concern

Alcoholics Anonymous



Sick Doctors Trust

Support and help for doctors, dentists and medical students who are concerned about their use of drugs or alcohol. Our confidential helpline is available 24 hours/day and we are happy to deal with anonymous enquiries, call 0370 444 5163.

Scottish Drug Service Directory



Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland: Support and counselling to help individuals work through their grief

7 Cups of Tea 7 Cups of Tea connects those in need of emotional support with compassionate and non-judgmental listeners through a secure, anonymous platform. Whether an individual is feeling stressed, confused, or just wants to get something off his or her chest, connecting with someone on 7 Cups of Tea is a great way to feel better. Listeners are trained in Active Listening, a method of emotional support known to relieve stress. It's free and the service is available on demand, worldwide, around the clock.


Quick Skills to Try

Time Management

This page was last updated on: 21.06.2021 at 13.58