We are conducting interviews internationally across a range of specialty areas to explore the way stress is experienced in each domain.
In 2016 we conducted an interview-based study looking at the nature of stress and identity in two target specialties – emergency medicine, and oncology. We now have funding to expand this study to other medical specialties. The observations that started this line of research came from the experiences of doctors in these two specialties:
Heyworth (2004, p5) notes:
“The paradox of emergency medicine is that many of the factors which make our specialty such a stimulating and rewarding career can also generate stress when present in unrelenting excess.”
Similarly we note that Oncology has an easily identified paradox relating to the nature of work stress. Manochakian (2014) is reflecting upon his first year as an oncologist and what he has learned. He notes:
“… oncologists get frequently asked:’How can you do it?’ and ‘Isn’t it so hard to be a cancer doctor?’ […] yes it is hard, it is actually very hard as I try to be one of their tools while fighting cancer, but it is also an honour and a privilege.” (p637)
…we need to understand the links between stress, identity and distress in order to target efforts at supporting well-being in medical professionals.
This initial study is still in progress and the results will be available in 2017. However several things are clear from our preliminary analyses that what outsiders assume would be the major stressors in a specialty are not necessarily the main sources of distress, and that we need to understand the links between stress, identity and distress in order to target efforts at supporting well-being in medical professionals.
For the expanded study we are looking for people in any medical specialty area, who are willing to engage with us for an interview (around 30 minutes). We will do some face to face when convenient, but in the internet age we are also able to conduct Skype/FaceTime (or equivalent) interviews anywhere in the world.
If you would like to participate in this study, please let us know by signing up to our register, or contacting us directly.