Doctors make mistakes can we talk about them
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Doctors make mistakes, can we talk about them?. http :// A Balint Group Mais GPST2 Psychiatry. History. P sychoanalyst Michael Balint (1896-1970) and wife Enid worked with GPs in L ondon

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Doctors make mistakes, can we talk about them?

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Doctors make mistakes, can we talk about them?

A Balint GroupMaisGPST2 Psychiatry


Psychoanalyst Michael Balint (1896-1970) and wife Enid worked with GPs in London

better understanding of the emotional content of the doctor-patient relationship and so improve their therapeutic potential

No lectures

“Long interviews”

First described in the book TheDoctor, his Patient and the Illness (1957)

Now 22 countries - national Balint Societies

What happens?

‘The doctor’

Present a case


“sit out”

Group discussion

Invite back in

Theory? Who needs theory?

EstiRimmer, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Paper discusses what, how and why?

“In the nexus between safety and anxiety that creativity can flourish”










Not knowing


The Group

Safe place

Discourage unwanted and intrusive questions

See themselves (as doctors) but also as humans

Not a therapy group although its effects can be therapeutic

“The doctor’s dilemma”

The leader

Make it safe

Ensure confidentiality is observed

Members feel free to talk about their feelings and their work (including their mistakes)

Benefits of Balint

Help avoid professional ‘burnout’

A safe place

The doctor will see their patients as human beings

Group members may gradually reach a deeper level ofunderstanding of their patients’ feelings and their own 

Let’s try it out!

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