Across the country, today marks the first day on the job for an enthusiastic cohort of newly trained doctors, and the first step in an incredibly rewarding career. However, we know too well that medicine is a high-pressure occupation.
Times get tough for everyone, it’s so important to know about the sources of support that are in place to help. The RMBF has supported doctors in need for over 180 years, and our help is needed today just as much as ever.
RMBF financial support for doctors in crisis
If you’re a doctor experiencing illness, injury, bereavement or disability that affects your ability to work, the RMBF is here to help. The financial support that we can offer includes:
- Monthly grants to help with essential day-to-day living costs
- Back-to-work awards
- Help with purchasing specialist equipment
- Help with purchasing disability adaptations for your car or home
- Top-up for residential fees or extra care costs
If a doctor is eligible for help from the RMBF, we provide an individually tailored package of support, which can also include money and debt management advice, telephone befriending for isolated doctors, and other forms of help.
If you’re facing difficulty, the first step is to contact our Casework department. All enquires are confidential. Call 020 8540 9194 (option 1) or email [email protected].
DocHealth is a confidential psychotherapeutic consultation service for all doctors, at any stage in their career and anywhere in the country, supported by the RMBF and the BMA. Doctors dealing with issues including depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, relationship problems and harassment can access help from senior clinicians who have the collective experience of treating over 2,000 doctors in the last 20 years.
This is a self-referral service, which makes it one of the quickest and most direct ways to access support when on a busy schedule.
Fees operate on a sliding scale based on ability to pay, with special consideration given to those in financial hardship. Junior doctors and trainees, including VTS trainees, can arrange an initial consultation at no charge.
The Vital Signs
The Vital Signs gives advice for doctors facing stress and pressure at work. It covers common causes of stress in doctors, outlines the warning signs that someone may be under pressure, gives top tips on reducing and managing stress, and signposts further sources of support. It is written by RMBF Trustee Dr Richard Stevens, Associate Director and Coach with Thames Valley Professional Support Unit.
More recently we have also published The Vital Signs in Primary Care, a version of the guide tailored to GPs seeking support. We can supply free copies of all our guides and resources – just get in touch.
RMBF Health & Wellbeing
Our website offers a series of advice articles that can help doctors plan their career, achieve a healthy work-life balance, and deal with practical matters at work and home.
Our Trustee Dr Ted Adams, Clinical Director at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, has compiled some of his top tips for new doctors into a helpful blog post.
You can also find a wealth of advice from empathetic colleagues on Twitter under the hashtag #TipsForNewDocs – well worth keeping an eye on.
Other sources of support
Our website signposts many other organisations providing vital help to doctors. Visit our directory and click the tags to filter the list and find the right sort of support for you.