New online training to protect the mental health of medical students

Burnout and mental health issues affect a host of professions, including doctors and those working in the NHS. 

Heralded as a possible solution to the current healthcare recruitment crisis, a new training programme, aiming to instil resilience in medical students at the start of their careers, has been rolled out. 

Dr Judith Johnson, a psychologist at the University of Leeds, developed the Reboot programme for those starting out in their medical careers – a possible solution to the specific challenges faced by those working in the healthcare sector.

“Burnout rates have been increasing and there has been a growing awareness of this over time. We can all fall into habits of thinking – thinking things are all our fault, worrying about the future, about things that can go wrong. The first thing is to help medical students to identify those [emotions] and coping strategies they can use”.

Fourth year medical student Laima Khan has taken part in the training sessions and feels better equipped to manage the emotions that come with being a doctor, learning more of a ‘step-by-step’ approach to self-management and emotions. 

Around 100 medical students have received the online training so far. Academics are awaiting further funding to show the efficacy of the programme before they roll it out to more students. 

Dr Judith Johnson has since been recognised for her work in wellbeing within the healthcare sector, announced as the winner of the British Psychological Society’s May Davidson award this January.