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Identifying Under Performing Doctors

Factors associated with doctors under performance

Taking responsibility for life or death situations would faze most of us, but we expect doctors to manage them with professionalism and expertise. But what if you were a doctor, working long hours in a busy hospital, would this impact on your ability to perform? Or, what if you have difficulty with personal organisation, how would this affect your performance in an environment which requires you to multitask and continually prioritise?  Under performance in the medical profession may have serious consequences – therefore, it is in both patients’ and doctors’ best interests that it is identified early. But is it possible to identify risk factors associated with under performance? This project takes a holistic approach to the individual and aims to understand the complexities surrounding under performance.

Using carefully anonymised interviews with a group of UK doctors who have experienced difficulties in some way in their career, the project will begin to ascertain whether there are underlying psychological, organisational or biographical aspects  common to under performance.

What the research means for policymakers and the wider community

Research methods

Research details The project, ‘Identifying Biographical And Biopsychosocial Risk Factors Amongst Under Performing Doctors’ runs from August 2007 to  January 2009.

Project Outputs

Project Poster 2009

Research Team

Debbie Cohen (Cardiff University)

As a doctor with more than twenty years experience, Debbie Cohen personally understands the stresses and strains that working in medicine may present. She now works as an Occupational Health Physician and has developed and is the Director of the Individual Support Programme at Cardiff University since 2001. The unit has so far worked with over 150 doctors, from undergraduates to consultants, referred for remediation. As part of this work Debbie has close ties to the National Clinical Assessment Service and is a member of their research and development group.