Table 4. Exemplar quotations from participants: support and coping mechanisms
Major themesMinor themesExemplar quotations
Support and copingThreshold for seeking help 'You are, you know, you are the doctor… so you keep everything for yourself and that’s, that’s the, the biggest [issue], you know, the threshold to seek help….' (Focus group 1, R6)
'I think there’s a stigmatisation amongst doctors that if you need to take more time, if you need to have some extra support, that, overall, that’s perceived negatively.' (Focus group 2, R2)
'Quite often you get asked, “What do you think is going on then?"... And you make your own diagnosis.' (Focus Group 1, R2)
Recognising burnout in the professional culture of medicine 'I found that times where I haven’t been happy, but it’s taken me quite a while to realise that. And actually it wasn’t till kind of about six months nearly down the line, I thought, “Actually, no, things aren’t right and, and this is what’s wrong in life and this is what’s making me unhappy.”' (Focus group 1, R2)
'No one should be going to work and being made to feel, you know, belittled or disrespected. And I think, at times, in medicine, I have certainly experienced it.' (Focus group 2, R2)
Maladaptive coping approaches 'They avoid it, they might do some exercise but they might watch loads of Netflix, might not go out, might smoke, might drink, might take drugs.' (Focus group 1, R5)
Adaptive coping approaches '…pretty much every day actually, I’ll go home and there’ll be something that’s happened that day that I’ll talk to my wife about who’s not medical … it might help me focus on a bit more of how I felt at the time or how the person felt at the time and that can be really helpful … she’ll often put her non-medical spin on it which I think can be quite good.' (Focus Group, R5)
Personal acceptance 'I know, for me, it’s kind of my acceptance of my own limitations, like accepting that I’m not perfect, which took a really long time to learn…' (Focus group 2, R6)
Use of mindfulness apps 'I was trying to do things like downloading mindfulness apps and trying to actively do mindfulness. And then I find that, “Oh, I’m not stressed any more, don’t bother with that anymore,” and it just goes out the window.' (Focus group 1, R5)