Building physician resilience. Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To explore the dimensions of family physician resilience. DESIGN: Qualitative study using in-depth interviews with family physician peers. SETTING: Hamilton, Ont. PARTICIPANTS: Purposive sample of 17 family physicians. METHOD: An iterative process of face-to-face, in-depth interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed. The research team independently reviewed each interview for emergent themes with consensus reached through discussion and comparison. Themes were grouped into conceptual categories. MAIN FINDINGS: Four main aspects of physician resilience were identified: 1) attitudes and perspectives, which include valuing the physician role, maintaining interest, developing self-awareness, and accepting personal limitations; 2) balance and prioritization, which include setting limits, taking effective approaches to continuing professional development, and honouring the self;3) practice management style, which includes sound business management, having good staff, and using effective practice arrangements; and 4) supportive relations, which include positive personal relationships, effective professional relationships, and good communication. CONCLUSION: Resilience is a dynamic, evolving process of positive attitudes and effective strategies.


  • Jensen, Phyllis Marie
  • Trollope-Kumar, Karen
  • Waters, Heather
  • Everson, Jennifer

publication date

  • May 2008