The Junior Doctor Circle is a platform specifically designed for Junior Doctors to share their stories and begin a conversation about their mental health privately with their professional peers.

A two year Practice Based Design Research Project in collaboration with Junior and Senior Doctors from Imperial College NHS Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust to empower Junior Doctors to track, vocalise and feel supported with their mental health. The Junior Doctor Circle is a platform for Junior Doctors to share their stories with a community of other Junior Doctors.

No one using the app can be identified and the app is not affiliated in any way to their employer. By realising they are not alone they learn and also support others. 

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How can we support Junior Doctors to prevent them becoming unwell?, Based on Qualitative Research, Co-design Workshops and Quantitative User Testing with Junior Doctors, this research advocates the need for ongoing, active mental health support for Junior Doctors to acknowledge, track and be signposted to support services before they present with serious mental health issues.

By ensuring Junior Doctors voices are the building blocks of the platform, the content and support it offers is self-sustaining and can be simultaneously curated and tailored for and by Junior Doctors. By designing into the platform varying levels of user engagement, this platform can be both a gateway to other support services or a haven to connect and begin much needed conversations. 

The Junior Doctor Circle
The Junior Doctor Circle

Platform Features – Co-designed with and for Junior Doctors

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The Junior Doctor Circle
The Junior Doctor Circle

Platform Features – Co-designed with and for Junior Doctors

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The Junior Doctor Circle
The Junior Doctor Circle

Platform Features – Co-designed with and for Junior Doctors

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The Junior Doctor Circle
The Junior Doctor Circle

Platform Features – Co-designed with and for Junior Doctors

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This online community can help Junior Doctors to develop the confidence and vocabulary needed to start a conversation in real life. The user testing results indicate that by sharing and relating to others, Junior Doctors can take a first private step towards finding words to ask for help. 

Design Research Methods

The Design Research Methods
The Design Research Methods

A two year research project with Junior and Senior Doctors

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The Design Research Process Map
The Design Research Process Map

The Framework of the Thesis. The research process led the research journey and the outcome followed to ensure that Junior Doctors voices were kept at the heart of this complex research subject area.

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The Design Research Methods
The Design Research Methods

A two year research project with Junior and Senior Doctors

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Junior Doctors today are suffering high rates of burn out and negative mental health. This spotlights a cohort within a professional group already known to have the highest suicide rate and who paradoxically, have the poorest access to mental health support. We know that the health and well-being of our doctors is directly linked to a reduction in medical errors, good quality patient outcomes and satisfaction. Crucially, poor health leads to low staff retention, contributing to the biggest crisis facing the NHS today – workforce attrition. 

Who Heals the Healer? Executive Summary