Journal Article

Doctors’ health: obstacles and enablers to returning to work

D. Cohen, M. Rhydderch, P. Reading and S. Williams

in Occupational Medicine

Published on behalf of Society of Occupational Medicine

Volume 65, issue 6, pages 459-465
Published in print August 2015 | ISSN: 0962-7480
Published online June 2015 | e-ISSN: 1471-8405 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqv056
Doctors’ health: obstacles and enablers to returning to work

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychiatry
  • Psychotherapy
  • Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Occupational Medicine

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background

For doctors returning to work after absence due to ill-health or performance concerns, the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Doctors’ perspectives of these obstacles have been investigated. To support them more effectively, the perspectives of organizations that interact with such doctors should also be considered.

Aims

To explore the obstacles and enablers to doctors’ return to work after long-term absence from the perspective of key organizations involved in assessment and support.

Methods

We identified organizations operating in the field of doctors’ health, well-being and performance. We conducted semi-structured, 30–45min telephone interviews with representatives of the organizations, exploring problems that they had encountered that were experienced by doctors with health or performance concerns returning to work after absence of a month or longer. We analysed our field notes using theoretical analysis.

Results

We conducted 11 telephone interviews. Data analysis identified four key themes of obstacles and enablers to returning to work: ‘communication’, ‘return to work’, ‘finance and funding’ and ‘relationships and engagement’. Sub-themes relating to the organization and the individual also emerged.

Conclusions

Organizations responsible for supporting doctors back to work reported poor communication as a significant obstacle to doctors returning to work after illness. They also reported differences between specialities, employing organizations, occupational health departments and human resources in terms of knowledge and expertise in supporting doctors with complex issues. Clear communication channels, care pathways and support processes, such as workplace advocates, were perceived as strong enablers to return to work for doctors after long-term absence.

Keywords: Physician health; rehabilitation; return to work.

Journal Article.  4272 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Psychotherapy ; Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology ; Occupational Medicine

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.