Dr Clare Gerada writes “Without psychological defences doctors would be more vulnerable to the effects of exposure to distress, disability, and death. But these defences can also create problems and work against the individual’s wellbeing. Ensuring a balance between using defence mechanisms to cope with a medical career and their potential to lead to serious personal and professional problems is vital. This can be achieved by making sure that doctors are supported throughout their career. They must also have the space and time to discuss the emotional impact of their work and their own ways of coping in a safe, confidential, and supportive setting.”