Top 5 tips for resilience in FY1

Top 5 tips for resilience in FY1

So, you’re embarking on the next step – FY1 is creeping up on you. Perhaps, you’re extremely well prepared or maybe you’re choosing to ignore the fact that it’s time to start taking care of your own patients (without supervision watching your every move).

Whatever your feelings, when you embark on that journey, it’s nice to know you’re equipped with the tools to help you build resilience, so you can handle whatever challenges you’re faced with and survive, even when things don’t necessarily go to plan.  

To help you along your way, we’ve gathered our top five tips for resilience in FY1, which is a topic brought up at most of our Next Step panel events, thanks to medic’s who have been there and ‘worn the scrubs.’

Here we go…

Tip 1: Stay flexible - adjust your goals. Sometimes you might have to alter your expectations of yourself

‘The burden and pace of clinical medicine can be a little bit overwhelming at times. You’re suddenly put into a position of authority and you have to make decisions about things. You come onto your first night shift and there’ll be 10 patients to see, you’ll have 15 jobs handed over from someone and you’ll go from ward to ward and there’ll be an endless list, so that’s a big challenge’. Dr James Glasbey – Surgical reg

In summary, have patience with yourself whilst you adjust to the pace.

Tip 2: Reflect on your experiences

‘You’ll build a lot of resilience as you cope with more and more things. So, it’s good to reflect on everything’. Dr Harry Spiers ST2 Gen. Surgery


‘As doctors, we always reflect when things go wrong but never when things go right. And I think that’s also a part of the problem, that we never turn around and say, I did a pretty good job today. It’s very rare that a consultant or anybody grade will pat each other on the back and say didn’t we do well today. I think it’s important to reflect on what you did well as that can have a positive effect on your mental health’. Dr James Glasbey- Surgical Reg

Tip 3: Demonstrate bounce-back ability (particularly when things don’t go to plan)

You are going to feel out of your depth but that’s normal.

 ‘Eventually something click’s and everything will start flowing. The first few weeks are going to be difficult, but they’re meant to be’. As a word of advice if you are thinking ‘should I ask for help’- you also certainly should be. Just think of it as saving you and our patients time by doing so. Dr Rosie O’Donoghue CT2 General Surgery

Tip 4: Accept you are sometimes just the messenger

There will be times when you come across unforgiving colleagues. Make sure you know the back story to justify if you are challenged. Ultimately, they will know you are just the messenger so try not to let their annoyance be a reflection on you. Afterall they could be dealing with things you know nothing about.

Tip 5: Remember you are good enough!

There will be lots of juggling tasks and prioritising which will be new to you so go easy on yourself. Sometimes it easy to fall into the trap of comparing your weaknesses to other’s strengths and this should be avoided at all costs. You have studied for 5 or 6 years to earn your place in FY1 and that is no mean task. Take time to settle in and know that with time everything will slot into place!