Professional Support

Stress and Burn out

There is increasing recognition of burn out in healthcare professionals, and the causes are multifactorial.

Burn out is a Syndrome of:

  • Depersonalization
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Low personal accomplishment

       It leads to decreased effectiveness at work. We work in a pressured environment and some degree of stress is unavoidable.

ABS cares about the effect of stress and burn out among our members and we wish to raise the awareness and help people recognise the early warning signs.

We had a session on this topic at the 2018 meeting and you can watch the talk by Dr Henry Kuerer 'Stress & Burnout' here


We have some members who have volunteered to be mentors and will be available for an informal chat or for some advice,if you feel you need it.  Please visit the Membership Support section.

We would like to invite you to participate in an important survey on burnout among breast surgeons if you have not already done so. The purpose of the study is to gain insight into the prevalence, risk factors, and potential mitigating factors surrounding burnout in breast surgeons. This is an under-studied area in need of greater attention. We hope the results will inform strategies and policies for improving work-life balance and our professional lives. Your responses are essential for achieving these goals. 

The link to the secure, electronic survey can be found here

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. The closing date is 31st January 2019. Please note that all responses are anonymous. 

The ABS take Bullying, Undermining and Harassment in the speciality very seriously. We have seen how bullying and undermining behaviour affects patient care, and it is important to reinforce the point that ‘Civility saves lives’.

Research shows that high-flying professionals are those most likely to be accused of bullying, and it is our duty within the ABS to educate our members on this topic. The very definition of ‘bullying’ has changed from intent of the perpetrator, to undermine, to the perception of the “victim” who feels undermined, hence we hope that this section of our website will be helpful and informative to our membership.


Below are some useful links:

The ABS have produced a breast surgery specific appraisal toolkit, which we hope will be of help. The toolkit could be used by members, their appraisers or their Trust’s Responsible Officer, to guide the process of appraisal or re-validation and is intended to compliment any local (e.g. NHS Trust) or national (e.g. GMC) guidance.

You can download the toolkit here

Information regarding IRM, NCAS and GMC investigations will be available here in due course. 

Member Support Service

The ABS is looking to develop a network of individuals willing to help with members who fear they may be suffering from burnout, or other issues affecting their work. These individuals may have personal experience of specific circumstances, or may have experience regarding specific processes. They will provide an informal & confidential service, be willing to listen, discuss and give informal advice. Their advice will be personal and not representing the opinion of ABS. We have identified some individuals who have kindly agreed to act as regional mentors. Their support and advice will be in good faith and neither ABS nor the individuals will be legally responsible for any consequences as a result of the advice given. Members wishing to use the support service need to understand and accept these terms and conditions


 Current Mentors