Israel/Lebanon—deliberate destruction or “collateral damage”
- Amnesty International
- Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Intern support groups have been instituted in many residency programs to improve resident well-being. In this article, we discuss the themes that emerged in intern support group meetings in a family medicine program operating in a setting of war and political instability. METHODS We held support groups, led by a family physician and a psychologist, that met monthly. Participants were residents in the family medicine program at the American University of Beirut. These residents began their training days after the commencement of the 34-day war between Israel and Hizbollah in 2006. Themes and issues discussed by the residents were noted and are reported in this article. RESULTS We found that despite the stressors of the political situation, our interns focused on the usual stress of internship, such as the difficulties of functioning as interns in other departments and dealing with the time demands of internship as their main sources of stress at the beginning of internship. The stresses associated with the war did not emerge in the group until later in the year. These included tension with patients and political confrontations with staff, as well as personal struggles with the lack of political stability and depressed mood. CONCLUSIONS This paper serves to share our experience and highlight some areas of concern that residents experience when training in a country or region that is at war.