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Stress in Anaesthesia

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Stress in Anaesthesia

A stressed doctor is not necessarily a bad doctor but difficulties may occur when the stress gets out of control. In stressful situations discussions with a friendly, understanding colleague may be all that is required to resolve such difficulties. When problems occur the first action of the Clinical Director must be to discuss the situation with the person involved or to get another senior colleague to do so. There is a wealth of voluntary agencies for stressed doctors. The Association of Anaesthetists has recognised that stress can be a common problem amongst anaesthetists and have gone to great lengths to provide support. Below is a list of useful addresses should you wish to talk to someone anonymously.

 Wellbeing & support

 The Sick Doctor Scheme, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

Confidential access at:
The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland,
21 Portland Place, London W1B 1PY
Tel: 0171 631 1650 (0900 too 1730)

 The National Counselling Service for Sick Doctors

National telephone contact point on 0171 935 5982
Further information from;
The Chairman, National Management Committee,
National Counselling and Welfare Service for Sick Doctors,
1 Park Square West,
London NW1 4LJ

 Sick Doctor’s Trust

We undertake to provide early intervention and treatment for doctors suffering from addiction to alcohol or other drugs, thus protecting patients while offering hope, recovery and rehabilitation to affected colleagues and their families.

0870 444 5163

 Saneline 0171 724 8000

 Support for re-training.

The General Medical Council aims to work with the co-operation of doctors, to encourage remedial action and rehabilitation. 0171 915 3642

 British Medical Association Stress Counselling Service for Doctors.

0645 200169. This is a 24 hour a day all the year round service.

 Doctors' Supportline 0870 765 0001

The new helpline for doctors. Staffed by trained volunteer doctors, open 36hrs per week, confidential & anonymous, independent, open 36 hours per week.

 British Doctors and Dentists Group: tel 020 7487 4445

 Alcoholics Anonymous: tel 0845 769 7555

 Narcotics Anonymous: tel 020 7730 0009

 Medical Council on Alcohol: tel 020 7487 4445

 International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (IDAA):

 BMA Counselling Service: tel 0645 200169


1. Stress in Anaesthetists. Association of Anaesthetists, London AAGBI; 1997
2. Stress in trainee anaesthetists. Anaesthesia 2000; 55: 203-205
3. Suicide amongst anaesthetists in training. Anaesthesia 1983; 38: 1097
4. Stress. Anaesthesia 1996; 51: 523-4
5. Occupational stress and burnout in anaesthesia BJA 2003; 90 (3) 333-7


This page is in memory of Dr Misheck Nyabadza 1971-2002,
Specialist Registrar in Anaesthesia, Southampton General Hospital

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