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Following the publication of an editorial in the BMJ in June 2016, researcher Dr Joanna Spiers highlights her experiences of the School funded research in a blog. She emphasises that GPs are not invulnerable but human and feel the pressures and strains of their demanding work life.

The publication entitled: 'Who cares for the clinicians? The mental 'health crisis in the GP workforce', argues that doctors are more likely to experience reduced well-being and mental health symptoms, including anxiety, low mood, depression, high stress and burnout. According to the editorial, "There is a culture of invulnerability among doctors, which starts during training, and which needs to be questioned and better understood. Creating a belief that doctors are impervious to illness is not always helpful. It is important for GPs to recognise the power of the emotional and physical challenges they face during their practice. While other emotionally demanding professions, such as psychotherapy, offer regular supportive supervision, GPs are often left to manage their emotional responses to their patients alone." 


This was a very surreal experience for me; sitting in a small theatre space in the early afternoon with all the lights on, next to my work colleagues, watching the research I had been putting my heart, soul and sweat into for nine months take shape and grow into a moving, exciting and often funny piece of art. I had to pretend I wasn’t moved to tears; I’m not sure I got away with it."- Dr Johanna Spiers

In the blog 'Translating research into an art performance' Johanna describes the motivation behind the project and the collaborations that helped shape and influence the way the research is being communicated, which includes a performance artist, a mental health campaigner and poet. The finished performance was performed to sell-out audiences at Circomedia in Bristol. "The show itself is a triumph, combining movement, monologues and music to tell the story of a GP partner who is breaking under the increasing pressures of patients, demands and family life." said Johanna.


More about the Exploring the barriers and facilitators to help-seeking by GPs: improving access to support project.

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