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Views And Reviews

Is resilience a trainable skill?

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 13 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2162

Re: Is resilience a trainable skill?

Resilience is a trainable skill, but perhaps not necessarily as a curricular subject in its own right, rather it is acquired as 'affective', or experiential learning, particularly in the company of colleagues. Contrary to the article above, this is well recognised, but awareness is not widespread. An example is in cadaver dissection:
Ref: Warner and Rizzolo: Anatomical instruction and training for professionalism from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

Many medical, paramedical, military and other training schemes have effectively (but perhaps inadvertently!) used affective learning in building resilience in their subjects. What is vital is that with increasing awareness, medical schools build affective learning through appropriate experiences into their curricula.

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 May 2019
Vernon H Needham
Retired GP