How to think differently about challenges at work. With Sanjay Popat. Episode 48
Doctors at Work
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Doctors at Work
How to think differently about challenges at work. With Sanjay Popat. Episode 48
Dec 02, 2023 Episode 48

We all face challenging work situations, but what makes makes one instance stressful and the other one not? And how come some doctors just seem to rise above it all, but others struggle? Sanjay Popat has researched stress in foundation doctors, and identified that the way people make sense of situations really matters. We all have "schemas" which are lenses through which we see the world, and these schemas influence what we make out of the situations we face. Seeking professional help can be useful to unpick ingrained ways of thinking, and individuals can also make sure that they pay attention to and notice what is going on, what triggers them, and how they think. Once you have identified ways of thinking,  you can then fact check the assumptions that you make, look at possible alternative explanations, and recognise that situations are usually complex shades of grey more than binary all or nothing thinking.

Dr Sanjay Popat is a researcher in Organizational Psychology at the University of Leeds. He has a keen interest in the well-being of employees, and particularly healthcare professionals who suffer from elevated levels of stress in comparison to the general population.  His PhD research involved asking 58 foundation doctors to keep audio-diaries for 2 months to understand their stress experience. His work was included in the international media coverage of the junior doctor strikes and won the award for Outstanding PhD Prize from the University of Leeds.

You can read his blogs summarising his research here and here, and you can find him on LinkedIn