Friday, October 28, 2011

Junior doctors’ experiences of personal illness: a qualitative study

Here is an interesting article in the scientific literature titled, "Junior doctors’ experiences of personal illness: a qualitative study."

Objectives  Professional status and working arrangements can inhibit doctors from acknowledging and seeking care for their own ill health. Research identifies that a culture of immunity to illness within the medical profession takes root during training. What happens when trainee doctors become unwell during their formative period of education and training? What support do they receive and how do they perceive that the experience of ill health affects their training trajectory? These research questions were developed by a multidisciplinary team of researchers and health professionals, who adopted a qualitative approach to investigate the experiences of personal illness among trainees in their Foundation Programme (FP) years.

Methods  Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight FP trainees from the Severn Deanery in southwest England who had experienced significant illness. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to conduct and analyse the interviews, resulting in a comprehensive list of master themes. This paper reports an interpretative analysis of the themes of Support, Illness Experience, Crossing the Line, Medical Culture, Stigma and Disclosure.

Results  Ineffective communication within the medical education and employment system underpins many of the difficulties encountered by trainees who are unwell. Coping style plays a key role in predicting how trainees experience support during and after their illness, although this may be influenced by their particular diagnoses. The barriers to disclosure of their illnesses are discussed within the context of mobilising and maintaining support. Concern about the impact of missing training as a result of ill health appears to be significant in the transmitting of an ethos of invulnerability within the medical culture.

Conclusions  Suggestions to improve support procedures for trainees who are unwell include the provision of greater flexibility within the rotation system along with independent pastoral support. Promoting the importance of disclosing significant illness as early as possible might go some way towards challenging the culture of invulnerability to illness that prevails among doctors.

Fox FE, Doran NJ, Rodham KJ, Taylor GJ, Harris MF, O'Connor M. Junior doctors' experiences of personal illness: a qualitative study. Med Educ. 2011 Oct 25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04083.x.

View the abstract here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The history of NDEAM (National Disability Employment Awareness Month) began in 1945, with “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." It has since grown to a month long celebration of the contributions of workers with disabilities.

"Return on investment means hiring the right talent. Workers with disabilities represent all skills sets and are ready to get the job done,” stated Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. This year’s theme, Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities, promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America’s workplaces and economy.

In celebration of NDEAM, Disability.Blog will invite employers to share their best practices for recruiting, hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities. In addition, the photographs and profiles of the eight No Boundaries Photo Project participants will be shared on the blog. You can also read posts from last year's No Boundaries Employment Series, which profiled individuals with disabilities who have found success in their chosen fields.

Learn more here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Managing Disabled Physicians on Your Medical Staff

There is an article on HealthLeaders Media titled, "Strategies for Managing Disabled Physicians." The author starts by reminding the readers that even if you do not have a physician with a disability on your medical staff, you may encounter one someday. This is particularly true given that older physicians are more susceptible to certain disabilities. Hence, as physicians age and continue to work past the age of 60 or 65, we are more likely to encounter physicians who may have limited mobility, difficulty with hearing, etc.