Resilience Among Doctors who Work in Challenging Areas: A Qualitative Study

The following study describes attitudes to work and job satisfaction among Australian primary care practitioners who work in areas of social disadvantage. The study finds all doctors were motivated to help a disadvantaged population because it is the ‘right thing’ to do. They sustained a deep appreciation and respect for the population they served, an intellectual engagement with the work, and the ability to control their own working hours. In their clinical work, they recognized and celebrated small gains and were not overwhelmed by the larger context of social disadvantage. The authors advise supporting doctors to work part-time, allowing experienced doctors to model these patient appreciative approaches, and reinforcing personal and intellectual pleasures of working to novice doctors.