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Supporting a doctor returning to work

Providing support to doctors arranging a return to work

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ Return to Practice Working Group in 2011-2012 identified that the key factor affecting a doctor’s successful return to practice was the length of time out of practice2.

In particular, an absence of more than 3 months is suggested to significantly affect skills and knowledge and a period of absence of more than two years is likely to require formal re-training2.

It is therefore recommended that the longer the period of absence, the more robust the process of return to work should be.

Above all, the focus of enabling a successful return to work should be that of delivering safe patient care. It is therefore imperative that we push for a cultural change in attitude towards doctors returning to work and strive to create a more positive, supportive environment in which individuals can regain clinical confidence.